Sunday, February 22, 2009

My sweet sister.

Hello Family and Friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we write to you to let you all know that my sister, Melissa Lauren (Suel) Pennington has passed away. Many of you will be aware of the situation, but for those who don’t know, here is the update.

Melissa went to the doctor last week complaining of stomach problems. The doctor said that she needed to have her gallbladder removed. When they went to do the surgery her heart stopped. She had an enlarged heart and it was weak. The doctor had no prior knowledge of a heart condition. They were able to revive her, but because she was without oxygen to the brain for 7-8 minutes, she was in a coma.

He comatose state got progressively worse until on Saturday, 21 February, she was brain dead. Her organs were donated and then she physically died sometime after that.

What does this mean for us? Well most of you know that we had already made plans to move to NW Arkansas in April. Sarah has work starting in April and I have work starting in May. But, we have now decided to move our departure date up and move back to Arkansas in March to help pick up the pieces after Melissa’s death.

So presently, I (Jason) am flying home to be with the family during the funeral. I will then fly back to England for a week and all of us will fly back to the States shortly after that. We are planning to fly to Ohio first, collect all of our stuff that is still up there, and then drive it across the country to our new home in Arkansas.

Obviously, this plan presents many challenges. Not the least of which is the fact that I will be traveling alone to the funeral while Sarah and Pippi try to do what needs to be done to close out our lives here in England.

Please pray for us. We are struggling through this difficult time. I promise to write with better news as soon as we have some. We haven’t even told you all about Pippi’s 1st birthday party yet.

Thanks all,

Jason, Sarah, and Pippi Suel

PS: If any of you want to support my family and me by coming to any of Melissa’s services, please do. The services aren’t finalized yet, but it looks like visitation will be at Proctor Funeral Home in Camden, AR on Tuesday (possibly), with a service at Fairview United Methodist Church in Camden to follow on Wednesday. She is being buried next to my 19 year old cousin, Rachel, in Jacksonville, AR possibly on Thursday. This is all speculation, because it is yet to be determined. I’m sure that if you are interested you could contact Proctor or Fairview United Methodist Church to confirm.


hannah fulks said...

i haven't stopped thinking of all of you since i heard the news last week. i am so sorry about all this. you will continue to be in our prayers. if there is anything i can do, please don't hesitate to call or email me. i am making plans now to come to camden. hopefully, i'll be able to make it. be safe traveling.

Laura said...


I went to school with Melissa and am so saddened to hear the news. We're praying for all of you.

JayBay said...


We love you guys. Tell everyone I'm sorry we cant make it on Thursday. My hearts hurts for you and your parents and grandparents. Hug the kids for us.

Chris and Jamie

The Sketoes said...

Jason and Sarah,
I came across your blog recently and just wanted to express how sorry I am to hear of Melissa's passing. I know this is a very sad time for you family, but I pray the Lord will calm your hearts and give you rest. You have a beautiful family. Best of luck with the move back to the States.
Beth (Glover) Sketoe

Billie Jo said...


It's a small world. One of my best friends (Laura) went to school with Melissa. Even though Ricky and I didn't know her, we are saddened for your loss. Ricky and I are traveling to England this summer. He's an athletic trainer and the high school soccer team is going to play a tournament in England. Too bad you'll be back in AR. Maybe you can still give us some good tips of things to be sure and do!

Hope all is well. Tell Sarah hello. Arkansas is lucky to have you guys back.
Billie Jo (and Ricky) Rodriguez

A said...


I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my brother last January in a car accident and know exactly what you are going through. It is all so sudden. Please know that it never goes away, but you learn to accept it. I find that talking about him as often as possible helps keep him with me. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Amy (Wright) Lea

P.S. Your daughter is adorable!!!