Girl Dies of Cancer After Dad’s Visit
Posted: 2008-03-31 12:50:56
NEW YORK (March 28) — A ten-year-old girl lost her battle with brain cancer early Friday, shortly after what turned out to be a last visit from her father, who’s in prison on a drugs-related conviction.
It was, Jayci Yaeger’s family says, her last wish — to have her father by her side.
Jason Yaeger was escorted Wednesday from Yankton Federal Prison Camp in South Dakota to the hospice in Lincoln, Neb. where Jayci spent her last days. Jason was allowed to stay for 20 minutes.
It was Jason’s fourth brief, supervised visit with Jayci since her condition worsened. Officials at Yankton had been refusing Jason’s repeated requests for an early release to a halfway-house so he could spend more time with her.
Jayci’s mother, Vonda Yaeger, told The Early Show earlier this month Jayci was “very scared. I think she’s holding on for her father. … She’s very close with her father. She always has been.”
On The Early Show Friday, Jayci’s uncle, Ed Yaeger, told co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez that, on Wednesday, Jason “just got to tell her that he loved her and sit there and hold her hand and try to comfort her as much as he could.”
Though Jayci was unconscious, Ed says the family feels she was aware of Jason’s presence because, “Her breathing became labored. That was always our indication — that, and tearing up and crying when Jason would be on the phone with her. Those were our two indications that she was aware of Jason.”
Does Ed think Jayci was indeed hanging on for that one last visit from Jason?
“I believe that’s what happened,” Ed responded. “She was hanging on for daddy, and she got her daddy, and then she let go.”
Ed says the Yaegers are very upset with prison officials, who repeatedly rebuffed Jason’s requests to be with Jayci.”
We are not satisfied with their actions,” Ed told Rodriguez. “Jason should have been here with Jayci when Jayci passed, and he wasn’t, because they decided to just make decisions that I believe were unethical.
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