I received a sad call today. My cousin, Rob, who seemed to be improving from his stroke, died. He had regained consciousness last week and was severely depressed by his paralysis and prognosis. The doctors did everything they could to help him through the depression which is normal thing when faced with a situation of this magnitude. However, early this week, Rob's kidneys failed him and damaged his heart. He had a massive heart attack and was revived because he did not have DNR, Do Not Resucitate, on file. The doctors told my aunt that Rob would never come home after the kidney failure completely destroyed his kidneys. They said he would, if he recovered from the heart attack, spend the rest of his life on dialysis 24 hours a day. Well, faced with that disturbing prognosis and knowing how Rob felt about this horrible turn in his life, my aunt and her family were faced with the decision of whether to leave Rob on life support, waiting for him to recover from the heart attack and then watch him suffer the rest of his life, OR, let him go. They made the heart wrenching decision to let him go.
My aunt has now been faced with this agnonizing decision twice in her life. Now, with Rob, and years ago when she and my mom and their brothers had to decide whether to take my Grandmother off life support. She had suffered a massive aneurysm and never regained consciouness. The decision back then was the same that my aunt, uncle and their other two children made today. However, my grandmother had slipped from this world just before they went to tell the doctors of their decision.
This brings up a vital issue. Do you have a preference regarding the care you would receive in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury? My mother was going home to talk to my brother about making that decision now, signing a form that states that decision, and carrying it with him at all times. She does not want to be put in the position my aunt was in today. She told me, "Once was enough and I don't want to have to decide something like that about one of my kids!"
Mark and I recently filled out Living Wills and had them documented with a lawyer. In the will, we state our preference so that none of our family members will be faced with having to make a decision about something so tragic. Have you written out your preferences? Have you even discussed those preferences with your loved ones? If you have children, don't leave that decision up to them in the future. Also, a Living Will allows you to put into writing what you want to happen to your children should you die. Who you want them to live with, what cherished items you want them to have, etc. can be documented there as well.
Don't wait. Take care of planning for any eventuallity today! And that includes making sure you have a Living Will, signed and documented with the blood of Jesus Christ! Are you saved? Have you been baptized in Jesus' name? Don't leave that decision to fate. Ensure your future and get your name written in the Book of Life and also take care of those earthly decisions as well!
Please pray for the Fairchild family as they grieve the loss of my cousin.