Sunday, October 5, 2008

My Dad

My Father became very ill in late September. For several weeks he was unconscious and in a Polio like paralysis. We eventually found out that he has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

West Nile affects people differently, some get it and they don't even know it, some just have flu like symptoms for a few days, while others will get headaches that last for days. Currently there is no cure for West Nile, the body just needs to fight off the virus on it's own. In some cases, West Nile can lead to further complications, such as Meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord), Encephalitis (an acute inflammation of the brain), and Spinal meningitis (an infection of the fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord.) My father has all three of these conditions. He has already suffered nerve damage and was in a Polio like paralysis. He has been on a respirator for 16 days since he is unable to breathe on this own. While the nerve can regenerate itself (about 1" every 30 days), I'm told his lower body muscles will die without signal from brain leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. Furthermore there is additional neurological damage. This damage would leave him mentally incapacitated where he may or may not recognize us and/or be coherent. The outcome of this would require long term physical care.

On many occasions my father has indicated to each of us in the family that he did not wish to ever continue in a situation like this. On Tuesday afternoon September 30th 2008, we honored his request and had the medical staff remove him from the life supporting ventilator and as a result he passed away peacefully at 2pm.

My Father was a believer and we know that today he has joined Jesus in Paradise.

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