He had a series of cardiac arrests on Tuesday night - starting at home - and it looks like he suffered brain damage. For the past 20 years or so especially, he's lurched from mostly diabetes triggered health crisis to health crisis and most of the time I only heard about it days or weeks after the fact...but yesterday was different.
My cousin (his daughter) is distraught, but handling it as well as she could be. (I should also mention that she is 3 weeks postpartum with her second baby and that she had to fight with him for the past few weeks about his medical care as he just went on dialysis two weeks ago.) It's distressing to her that she was fighting with her Dad to go to the ER just hours before. He had dialysis earlier in the day and was complaining that "they took more than they should out". He refused to go to the ER (my Italian family is stubborn, especially the MEN) and was yelling at her as she left him on Tuesday night. About two hours later, just as a family friend went into the kitchen to grab something, he went into the first cardiac arrest.
He wasn't fighting my cousin, he was fighting the thought of more medical care, which I understand. My cousin will understand this too, once the shock wears off.
My brother and I went to the hospital last night and I learned that it is never ever a good sign when the ICU staff let you come in outside of visitors hours and immediately point you to the room.
We sat with my cousin and assorted visitors during the evening. My other uncle, the patriarch of the family, had been there with his brother overnight and had left a few hours before we arrived. My mother (even though we offered several times to drive her) doesn't want to see her brother in this condition. I understand that too.
Everyone who first got a glimpse of him would pause and held back their tears. The neurologist came in as we were there - and there was no reaction from my uncle as he was poked. His pupils are fixed even though he is not sedated.
Today they'll be warming up his body according to cardiac protocol, as it was kept cool initially. And they'll perform a CAT scan and EKG and some other tests. Most of my family are medical practitioners, including my cousin, so we get it. My aunt is coming from Texas tomorrow, and I imagine that we'll see him off tomorrow.
There are no text updates this morning so far.
I resent that I had to write the details of this out. Death takes away so much. He was a good man, a good Dad and one of a kind. A character. He got to meet his grandchildren. His family and friends will be at his funeral. He will be remembered and missed. You can't ask for more than that.
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