FORT MILL, S.C. -- As a beautiful baby girl, Abbey Wambach had an infectious giggle and as she grew into an easy toddler, a vibrant outgoing personality began to take shape. When Abbey was 2 years old, a problem surfaced—she began having seizures.
There were many visits to doctors and four to five seizures a year became the norm, usually the result of a high adrenaline situation.
Lorie Wambach, Abbey’s mom, said they would occur after “jumping in the pool, being splashed in the face or getting hit with a snowball.”
Over the years, Abbey’s seizures seem to be controlled by medicine, but on November 13, 2009, Abbey’s condition took a different path. On a walk with her dad and sister to see the horses near a Ft. Mill, park, Abbey was startled by bee.
“The bee didn’t actually sting her, it just scared her, and she collapsed. Her dad did CPR until the ambulance got there,” mother Lorie said.
Over the next eight days, 10-year-old Abbey fought for her life in the pediatric intensive care unit, but one terrible turn after another was too much and Abbey couldn’t and didn’t wake up.
On November 22, 2009, Abbey Wambach passed away.
“If you have other children, you have no choice. You have to move on, move forward, it was very hard,” Lorie said.
The Wambach’s suffered a terrible, irreplaceable loss. Abbey’s death was determined to be the result “long QT,” an undetected genetic heart condition that can cause sudden death through cardiac arrest. Now came, grief, anger, questions and a sense of unbearable loss.
That’s where the compassionate souls at Kindermourn stepped in to help. Kelly Hamilton is executive director.
“[ Kindermourn] is a place where they (families) can come to share their experience and talk about their loss,” Hamilton. Kelly says it is her privilege to be part of, and to witness, the healing process.
Meanwhile, Abbey’s room is just as it was three years ago.
“I don’t come in here often, maybe on a bad day,” Lorie noted.
Of day-to-day life since Abbey’s passing, Lorie said, “It’s not better, not worse, just different.”
It is making new family traditions, making new friends and making a new life with Abbey alive only in their hearts.
To learn more about Abbey, you can visit her website here.
Kindermourn’s annual “Hope Floats” Duck Race will be held this Sunday at the U.S. National Whiterwater Center in Charlotte. It is their primary fundraiser.