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CLICK HERE FOR NATALIE COLE'S VIDEO INTERVIEW
A discussion with Larry King about her need for kidney transplantation after only 4 mo. of hepatitis C treatments!

 


Bobby's Story
(by his brother Richard)

bobby.jpg (13657 bytes)

Let me explain what happened to my brother, Bobby. He died 11:35pm Sunday, April 18th, 1999, a victim of Hepatitis C. He lived in upstate NY (Herkimer County) not too far from Utica. He had served at Griffiss Air Force base, Rome, NY from 1976-84 (last year served in South Korea) and after discharge, lived in the area. He had fallen into a coma the Wednesday before and was due at Mt. Sinai here in NY for a liver transplant operation. An operation which was to be expected but would hopefully extend his life at least 10 -15 years, at which time, with advances in medicine, he could have lasted even much longer.

Mt. Sinai had a bed for him on Thursday and then later didn't have one available for him. They did say though that he would have the next bed available. Friday and Saturday still produced no bed for him.  Finally, after many of us calling on his behalf, on Sat. night (4/17), he was scheduled to be at Mt. Sinai at 7am Sunday. A chopper would pick him up, fly him down, and hopefully get his new liver. According to two specialists, two transplants were performed on Saturday, so he was next in line.

When a person gets a liver, they are usually near death. Vital organs crash, kidneys fail, but the new liver fixes everything. With the transplant, he would come out of the coma, his kidneys would restart and vitals would come back to normal. By Saturday evening, my brother had total kidney and liver failure as well as pneumonia in his lungs. They would only take him based on the condition of his heart. His BP was 132/83, clearly very strong and able to make the trip. A bed had finally been made available. So, Saturday night at 11pm, plans were made. I would meet the chopper at 7am, his wife would drive down and meet us later. But, through the night, his BP went down to 60. I was awakened at 5am Sunday and told they would hold the bed until 3:00pm and if his heart bp went up, they would still take him. So, I still had hope.

As the day progressed, it was clear things had not changed. My wife, my mom and I took the 3 hr. drive upstate to his hospital bed and met his wife. We stayed with him for hours and I inquired about disconnecting his respirator. We discussed this with his doctors and at about 11:30 pm all life supports and meds were discontinued. I held his hand until the end. We said prayers around him and, at 11:35pm, he took his last breath. Must be a bad dream, I thought. The shock and sorrow is the fact that he only missed it by a few hours. The hospital didn't have a bed for him for 3 days. We arranged a chopper for him, through my job and finally Mt. Sinai agreed to send their own helicopter for him. In our minds, he was getting a new liver and we would help him recoup. (For years, he was part of clinical trials and every new FDA drug available.) The transplant program works by waiting until the patient is almost near death but, as conditions change in minutes, if he's too sick, they won't waste the liver. This is what happened.

The next day, after funeral arrangements, my mom had a heart attack. She'll be alright. But, she lost her son and recently her husband (bone cancer). Many people have children so I know many can imagine that pain. She's home now. But we are numb and saddened. I'm glad I was there for my brother.
He was 42 years old.

Richard
email: RITCH110@aol.com

 

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Last Updated March 20, 2012