My son was theocratic – bright and promising and a true servant of Jehovah. He dreamed of going to Bethel to serve Jehovah more fully. He prepared for meetings on his own, pioneered during summer breaks, handled the microphones at the Kingdom Hall, and timed the student talks for the Ministry School Overseer. He even gave talks at assemblies. We were so proud!
He was 15 years old and in the 9th grade when he and another young Witness were in a terrible auto accident. The other boy was driving my son home from the Sunday meeting when he raced the car, lost control and flipped. I was a faithful Witness for 29 years, and my husband and I trained our son to refuse blood transfusions. He told the ambulance drivers, “No blood!” and he said it again at the first hospital before he became unconscious. When he was air lifted to the trauma center, he was immediately transfused because he was unconscious and a minor.
By then, however, a lot of time had passed and there had been severe internal bleeding that had damaged his heart and other organs. When we arrived at the trauma center, the doctor told us that he had little chance of survival without blood transfusions, and that they had given him several units when he arrived. This angered my husband a great deal but I said nothing. Secretly, I had hoped the doctors would give him blood despite our wishes if a transfusion could save his life. The doctor said they restarted his heart twice and that gave us a glimmer of hope but twenty minutes later, with tears in his eyes, the doctor said they couldn’t restart his heart a third time – he had died.
My husband and my two other sons and I cried and cried and cried. I have never known such anguish and physical pain! I wanted to die. The pain was unbearable. I kept thinking, “Would he have lived if he got blood at the first hospital?” A spiral of profound change began in my life.
When you see your child lying wrapped in a white sheet, their pale lifeless face – there is no comfort. I will be forever carrying that picture of my son in my mind – wearing the face of death. No words can touch that place where your heart is dying. The hope of the resurrection means nothing when you can’t see or touch the living-breathing child that filled your life with joy. Never seeing them smile at you, laugh with you, or give you a hug ever again in the days to come. Never hearing them say, “I love you” again. I’ve suffered pain, but nothing compared to the pain of losing my beloved son. Your whole body becomes sickened with the most horrible physical pain one can feel. I’ve suffered pain, but nothing compared to the pain of losing a child.
I pray that any Jehovah’s Witness who has children and reads this will never have to face such a loss such as mine. A loss that can be prevented if they have a true understanding of what the Watchtower Society is asking them to sacrifice. After my son had died, I realized my nagging doubts about the Watchtower’s blood policies needed to be fully investigated. Hadn’t I just lost a child for these purportedly God-given laws I had lived by for 29 years?
I soon learned that over the years the Witnesses have changed many teachings about blood and that the Governing Body was about to change more of its blood doctrines. Why are some parts of blood permitted when others are not? Where did they find this in the Bible? In addition, if the Bible says nothing about transfusions, how can the Governing Body say with certainty that blood transfusions are wrong in Jehovah’s eyes? How could I forgive those men for my son’s death? In my opinion, the men of the Governing Body have the blood of many innocents on their hands. They who taught us falsely in God’s name are accountable to him.
My heart is completely broken – my child is dead. I beg of you who read my story, don’t let this happen to you. Educate yourself now before you are faced with a similar tragedy. If any child can be saved by their parents thinking now rather than after they lose their child, perhaps my son’s death will not have been for nothing.