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Letter From Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Caregivers at Duke University Hospital

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

In the midst of a tragic event such as Jesica's death, those of us who have cared for her throughout her ordeal cannot truly comprehend the depth of her family's sorrow and grief over losing their daughter. Yet we, as her medical team, have experienced a unique sense of pain and sorrow that comes with the loss of one of our children. Despite our most diligent efforts and our most compassionate care, we were unable to save a young life, a reality that is extraordinarily painful and difficult to accept. We continue to include Jesica, her family, and all the families in the pediatric intensive care unit in our thoughts and prayers, for we live their losses and triumphs each and every day.

We also include in our prayers our colleague and friend Dr. James Jaggers. We know that he has experienced overwhelming grief and despair. Yet we hope the knowledge of all the children he has saved, and the prospect of children he will someday save, can bring him some peace in this time of sorrow. It has been our great blessing to work along side him and to witness, firsthand, his unique combination of skill, compassion and honesty with patients and staff alike. He is a great teacher and an inspiration to all of us with whom he works. As parents, we would all undoubtedly choose Dr. Jaggers if our children needed the skilled hand of a surgeon.

In closing, we fervently hope that Jesica's ordeal will awaken the public to the dire need for donor organs, so that hundreds of critically ill children and adults will receive the gift of a second chance at life. Once again, we wish to express to the Santillan family our love and support for them at this extraordinarily difficult time.

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