A mother's love: Woman loses life amid battle for son's life
"First day I didn't have the courage to go up and introduce myself to her," said Jeremy Hill.
It was Debra Hill who struck up a conversation by sending him a message. The high school sweethearts would marry and have two children, Meagan and Jeremy Jr.
Unknown to the family, Jeremy developed symptoms, which doctors misdiagnosed as ADD, attention-deficit disorder. Jeremy was stricken with something far more serious, Adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD for short.
It is a rare genetic disorder which can lead to a vegetative state, robbing victims of vision, hearing, motor skills and maybe even their life.
Debra Hill was Jeremy's prime caregiver. But, she was sick in her own right and died May 10.
She had a heart condition and needed a heart transplant, all the while being hooked up to a portable heart pump.
She was being treated for lupus and then was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Despite being hospitalized numerous times, the mother's priority was her family.
"It was very scary. I wanted to come home to my kids more than anything in the world," said Debra Hill in an inverview with Eyewitness News in recent weeks.
But things took a turn for the worse. Debra Hill attended Relay For Life in a wheelchair. Later in the week, she began feeling weaker and dizzy. She was taken to USC Medical Center for observation. But complications set in and she died last week, said her husband.
"Her doctors would always tell me, 'Your wife is sicker than she leads it on to be. She's a lot sicker than what she's telling you,'" said Jeremy Hill.
The mother's desire was to tell the story of her son's special wish. Jeremy Jr. turned down the chance to be taken to Walt Disney World by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Instead, Jeremy wants to meet President Barack Obama and convince him to make a law to have newborn babies screened for ALD so that others won't have to suffer what he's gone through.
"Now I gotta go and make Debra's desire to get Jeremy's wish fulfilled. That is now on me, and I will make that happen," said the father.
Jeremy Hill said he welcomes any help in making his son''s wish a reality. Anyone interested in helping out or donating to the Hill family can call the Congregational Bible Church of Shafter at (661) 746-2187.