The ALS Association

2013 AAM Stories 550851878

Sharon D. Birmingham, The United States

My dad was diagnosed with ALS 6 years ago. He lost his fight for life on March 12, 2013; rip dear dad. Doctors took a while to finally diagnose him because of how rare the disease is. After he was diagnosed, the signs of the disease became apparent as his speech was slurred and hard to understand. He had so many falls and tumbles, and he fell down just two steps in the back garden where he broke his neck. He was rushed to the hospital where they struggled to keep him alive after giving him an emergency traceostomy. He was rushed to another hospital where he stayed in traction for several weeks after the doctors realized the disease was preventing him to heal. They gave us the option to either leave him to starve to death or do a major operation where they would try to save his life, but this didn't come without risk they said. If he pulled though the operation at all, it would advance the ALS disease so much more. We were left with no other choice but to give him the benefit of the doubt but to try and hope the operation worked. After all he was our dad; we weren't ready to give up on him. Unfortunately the surgeon was right, and the operation worked, but my dad could no longer walk, talk, eat solid or liquid food with out a special thickener. His swallow was affected, so he struggled to breathe as well and to swallow anything by himself. He had so much frustration because he was always a proud man, and he liked doing things for himself and had a great appitite. Slowly my dad's body began to give up, and he had several colds and chest infections. He had pneumonia and never fully recoved. The doctors said he was to frail for a peg feed, and the kindest thing would be to let him go. His liver and kidneys began to fail, and the doctors gave him morphine to help with the pain.He was in then he passed away with all his children by his side. He can now rest without suffering. I love you so much dad; u will always be loved and greatly missed xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx.

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