Not the final chapter!
My story this year is bittersweet. Phil's passed away at 10:54 AM on February 13, 2020. He was surrounded by his family, Alamo Hospice and Arden Courts caring staff. Just the week before Phil was alert, eating with assistance, reaching with intention toward the wooden blocks he liked to fiddle with while listening to music on my phone. Then Friday, while he was in the Activity Room, something happened. He was checked by the nurse and EMS. After oxygen was given his pulse was back in normal range...low, but acceptable. Phil rested that day and evening. It seemed like a onetime event.
The next day, Saturday, February 8, our Support Group friends came to Arden Courts for a pre-Valentine lunch. Phil really enjoyed being with Steve, Patti, Robert, and Charlie but on that day he barely responded to them. We laughed, ate lunch and "danced" to music. Except Phil wouldn't swallow food and only accepted a very small amount of water. As my concern increased, the Hospice on-call nurse came to check on Phil because of the strange event on Friday. The nurse said that this change was most likely a natural progression in the disease and that I should prepare myself.
By Sunday Phil had nothing to eat since Friday lunch. I called our children to let them know that their Dad was in the final stages of his life. Cyndi, David, and Paul came and shared the vigil with me until Phil just stopped breathing. Phil was comfortable and I have to believe that he knew his loved ones were with him.
As an Educational Psychologist, Phil had continued to investigate and enhance his understanding of changes in education and of many wide areas of interest. He had participated in a drug study early in the process of his disease. It seemed fitting to let him continue to add to Alzheimer's research by donating his brain to the Biggs Institute Brain Bank at UT Health San Antonio.
Phil continues to add value to our lives, even in death.
I was so blessed to love and be loved by Phil.
I invite you to join Team Young at Heart at this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's and join us as we honor Phil's life by supporting research to find a solution to end this disease.
Thank you for helping us advance Alzheimer's support, care and research!
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