Vince Neil’s Memory of Losing Daughter Skylar to Cancer
Twenty-four years after his daughter lost a battle with cancer, Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil took to Instagram to share a throwback picture of him carrying his daughter Skylar on his shoulder.
The toddler who lost her life at the age of 4 was dressed in a white onesie adorned with peace signs all over.
Although the caption read "miss you" with a smiling angel emoji, the post was draped in a veil of sadness for anyone aware of the pain that the memories of his daughter and her suffering brought about.
Vince Neil and his late daughter (Source: Instagram)
Neil had picked up the pen on his own to narrate the heartbreaking story of his daughter's cancer ordeal. The narration was picked up and published by People.
After six operations, chemotherapy, and radiation, Skylar died on August 15, 1995.
It Started with Flu-like Symptoms
It began in early April of that fateful year; Skylar came down with flu-like symptoms. It was enough to warrant her mother and Neil's then spouse Sharise Rudell to take the youngster out of preschool.
Overnight, Skylar's pain doubled, and she couldn't even walk.
The mother, worried sick, took her daughter to West Hills Medical center. Neil was out at a pro-celebrity car race.
By the time he made it to the hospital, there was a diagnosis.
"Skylar has cancer," Rudell told the rocker.
She had what's called a Wilms' tumor, a kidney cancer that affected children. In his article, Neil wrote:
This ordeal is something no parent should have to go through.
Vince Neil Wrote a Song for His Daughter
Over the next four months, Skylar would have to endure hell and a half.
The musician, apart from being there for his daughter, did what he knew best — crafted a song.
He released a solo album, Carved in Stone, which included the track 'Skylar's Song.' The song would later be playing when his toddler finally gave in to the illness.
The First Surgery
During her first visit, doctors thought that Skylar's appendix had burst, so they opened her up only to realize that the problem was in the area behind her stomach.
They ended up removing a tumor the size of a softball.
The next day, Skylar regained consciousness and was understandably scared.
The doctors had her moved to Children's Hospital in LA, where they could make sure they had gotten all the fragments of the tumor, which had ruptured around her abdomen.
Meanwhile, the scared 4-year-old just wanted to know when she could go back home.
All her mother could say at that point was: "Soon, honey, you can go home."
Skylar Was Scared
But the battle was far from won. A CAT scan showed tumors on both kidneys. It was bad.
It was too risky to operate. So the doctors decided on chemo and radiation instead but to no avail.
Despite all of their efforts, the tumor on her right kidney would grow to six and a half pounds, pushing her abdomen against her lungs.
There was a point when the 4-year-old realized what was happening.
"Daddy, I'm never going home, am I?" she questioned.
"Of course you are," the father said, putting on the facade of a strong face.
"Mommy, I don't want to die," she would later tell her mother. To which, Rudell would reply,
You’re going to go to sleep for a little bit, and when you wake up, Mommy and Daddy will be right here.
After undergoing chemo as an outpatient for just over a month, she was rushed back to the hospital.
Doctors found a bowel obstruction from the previous surgery—some scar tissue had formed on her intestines and twisted them—and Skylar had her third operation within two months.
Following that surgery, the little one had one small request to make.
Dad, please don’t let them cut me anymore.
Sadly, Neil was in no position to grant his daughter's wishes. Another surgery was impending.
The surgeons opened her up in the hopes of removing the entire right kidney, but that simply wouldn't cut it. The cancer was spreading fast.
It had already made its way to her liver and intestines and the muscles in her back.
She would not survive the surgery. The doctors patched her up and hoped for a miracle — a miracle that would never come.
A week later, on June 3, she stopped breathing. She had to be put under medically induced paralysis just so she would not expend what little energy she had.
Seeing no way out, the doctors were forced to operate on the tumor.
Ten hours on the operating table, and the doctors returned.
They had removed the 6½-pound tumor, the size of a football, and had also taken out her right kidney, half her liver, part of her diaphragm, a piece of muscle in her back, and the tumor inside her left kidney.
She had another surgery to deal with a possible infection from the previous surgeries, but what was left of her kidneys was failing—so were her lungs.
It was almost time to say goodbye.
Although she was unconscious, Neil told her that he loved her and left for the night.
He had just gotten home when his ex-wife called to inform him that Skylar's vitals were dropping.
Rudell told her daughter:
Don’t be scared, sweetie. Go to sleep now. It’s all right.
Just minutes later, her daughter left for good. By the time Neil got to the hospital, he was already 10 minutes too late to say his goodbyes.
She was buried in a pink casket.
Neil couldn't help but run from reality immediately after the service. He went out of town and tried to run from the pain until he could run no more.
It took multiple visits to the cemetery and more than a few trips to the therapist for him to get his grip on reality.