Emily Jerry's parents speak out
By Kelly Jerry
Members of the
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. My name is Kelly Jerry. My husband, Chris, and I are here because of our daughter, Emily Christine Jerry. Emily was the most beautiful blue-eyed little girl with bouncy blond ringlets. She loved playing outside, swinging, watching Barney, reading with her brother and playing dress-up with her sister. Emily had such a pleasant disposition and the most contagious little giggle. Unfortunately, when our precious Emmy was about a year-and-a –half old, she was diagnosed with cancer. She had a yolk sac tumor, about the size of a grapefruit, stemming from her spine wrapping around and growing into her abdominal area. Luckily, Emmy’s cancer was very curable. She had the most conscientious and meticulous team of doctors and nurses. They had done a remarkable job of healing our Emily. Emmy had endured months of surgeries, grueling testing, and rigorous chemotherapy sessions (which would last for six straight days at a time). The last MRI clearly showed that the tumor had successfully diminished to the point that it could not even be detected. Through all of this, our little fighter never complained and was such a happy and loving little girl. However, Emily needed one last and final round of chemotherapy to be sure that there were no traces of her cancer left inside her little body. On Emily’s second birthday, she was scheduled to begin her last and final round of chemotherapy. Even though it was scheduled to begin on Friday, February 24th we were so very excited because the end was finally in sight! We were looking forward to bringing our baby home, cancer-free, and living as a normal two year old child should. Tragically, that never happened.
Sunday, February 26th was Emily’s third day of her last chemotherapy treatment. That day had consisted of playing with the kitchen set and cleaning it with the alcohol wipes that her nurses so generously had supplied her with. Her grandmother and grandfather had also come to visit and play with their precious little Emily. After lunch, Emmy reluctantly laid down for a much needed nap. The fatal dose was administered at 4:30 that afternoon. Emmy woke up very groggy which was very unlike her. She slowly sat up and asked to sit in my lap. I placed her in my lap and began cuddling with her. She kept grabbing her head and moaning, “Mommy, my head, my head!” She then looked over at my can of Coke sitting on the tray and begged for a sip. I placed the straw to her lips and she drank the rest of it in a matter of seconds. She asked for more and then began screaming, “Mommy, my head hurts! My head hurts!” I frantically called for the nurses. Emily began vomiting profusely as her daddy came in for his daily visit. Chris asked me, “What’s going on?” as Emily completely went limp in my arms. I placed her on the bed as the nurses attempted to resuscitate her. Within seconds there were doctors and nurses everywhere. Emmy was rushed to the intensive care unit where there more doctors and nurses urgently struggling to find out what could possibly be going so very wrong. Within an hour, our precious daughter, Emily, was on life support.
I held Emily’s little hand and ran along side her bed as she was rushed to have CT scans and other tests to determine the extent of the damage to her brain. Since the life support machines could not go through the scans with her, the nurses had to climb on the bed and manually keep her breathing. It was so very surreal to have this happening and still no answers as to why Emily was dying. This couldn’t be really happening. We were supposed to be watching Barney videos and ordering her dinner right now. She was supposed to be talking to her big brother and sister on the phone after dinner to make sure they were getting ready for school the next day. What was I supposed to tell her brother, Nate and her sister, Katherine? They were not able to come and visit her due to the visitation policy during cold and flu season. The last time they saw their little sister alive was on her birthday, Friday, February 24th. We didn’t sleep that night. I sat on Emmy’s bed holding her hands and tickling her toes as the machines kept her body alive, hoping that I would blink and this horrible nightmare would be over. It never ended. It just got worse.
The next morning the room was filled with strangers’ horror-filled faces as we were told how our angel, Emily, had been killed. Killed by an overdose of sodium chloride in her chemotherapy IV bag.
Wednesday, March 1st was supposed to be a day of celebration. We had a belated birthday and a cancer-free party planned for our Emily. Instead, our little Emily was delivered to the Cuyahoga County Morgue.
Our family has been completely destroyed by the inexcusable and intentional homicide of our daughter, Emily. Eric Cropp killed our daughter and left our family in shattered ruins. Do any of you have any idea of what our lives’ must be like now? My children ask me daily, “Mommy, is that pharmacist in jail yet for killing Emmy?” I have no explanation for them. There isn’t one. There simply isn’t one. I lay awake every night wondering what Emmy would look like and what her favorite things would be now. Our children, Nate and Katherine, do not sleep either. They are afraid to take any type of medication and to have their childhood vaccinations. They do not trust the medical community at all. How could anyone blame them?
How can Eric Cropp wake up and look at himself everyday in the mirror after killing our daughter? How can he continue to practice pharmacy? Eric Cropp has never made any attempt to contact our family to apologize for killing our beautiful Emily. Not one attempt, ever. I am sure that he has not been to All Soul’s Cemetery to visits Emily’s grave. As a human being, how can he live with himself?
Members of the Board of pharmacy, you gave Eric Cropp this license to practice pharmacy in the state of