Chloe Grace Gonzalez
Chloe was born happy and healthy, but at about two months of age she developed a rash that grew progressively inflamed and painful. Through a skin biopsy of her diaper area, she was eventually diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. Thorough testing at that point found no other signs of disease, but within a few months she had developed GI issues and failure to thrive. Another round of tests revealed spleen and bone marrow involvement.
Treatment began shortly after her first birthday, but the chemo never really got the disease under control. She became transfusion dependent, requiring red cells and platelets at least weekly and sometimes daily, and she began to demonstrate other signs of secondary HLH syndrome. She had surgery twice to relieve mastoid involvement and eventually underwent a splenectomy as well. She spent the last 7½ months of her life at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where she was tenderly cared for until the day of her passing, just after her second birthday.
Chloe was a trooper, the picture of bravery and resilience. Though she never talked, she
communicated through her smiles, the twinkle in her eyes, her deep belly laugh, her expressive
grunts, and the many and varied expressions that emanated from her face. And then, of course,
there were her heart-breaking cries. Her rash came and went, but when it was bad it was horrid, causing blisters similar to third degree burns.
Even so, Chloe enjoyed many happy moments playing with her toys, listening to her favorite books read aloud by those who loved her, and being pulled around in the hospital’s little red wagon. Her biggest smiles were for her big brother Nehemiah, who adored her then and always will.
All of us, including Shayna, born after Chloe’s passing, will hold her in our hearts forever.
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