In Memory of Anna Louise Johnson
March 17, 2000 – October 17, 2003
Anna was a beautiful 3-year old child who had been remarkably healthy during her first years of life. Several months after celebrating her 3rd birthday (a “Pooh” party), she came down with the “flu” and began vomiting repeatedly. Anna quickly lost weight and was eventually hospitalized for dehydration. It was a CT scan on July 9, 2003 that finally told us she had a medulloblastoma.
Anna was rushed to Duke for an operation to remove the lump in her head. The operation went well, but the tumor had spread throughout her brain and spine. She was released a week later, but hospitalized after several days at home when she lost the ability to move her legs. Chemotherapy was started, but quickly stopped when her shunt failed. Radiation was then attempted, but stopped when Anna developed fungal meningitis. She died early on the morning of October 17, 2003, at Duke Hospital, with her parents and grandparents at her bedside.
Anna took extraordinary joy from living and saw the world as her own. The disease that robbed her of life was merciless and the questions of “why” go unanswered. We are grateful for the “Child Life” program at Duke and their efforts to calm the fears of a child whose world had turned against her.
Wayde and Sarah Johnson, Anna's parents