Monday, February 4, 2008

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness I write to you today - Duncan passed away at 3:346 p.m. today after the decision was made to stop heroic measures. Duncan developed another infection over the past two days, the effects of which were causing him a great deal of pain and causing him to run a fever of 108* F overnight. The doctor who treated Duncan said he had never heard of anyone surviving such a high fever, and that normally the body did not allow itself to sustain such a high temperature for even 15 minutes, let alone the 2 hours Duncan suffered with it. The doctor said it was an indication the hypothalamus of the brain, which regulates body temperature, was damaged. He also advised us even though Duncan survived, he would have permanent and widespread brain damage that would eventually cause his organ systems to fail, and that his kidneys were already dialysis dependent, and he was quickly becoming ventilator dependent. Meaghun and I were asked to make a decision, and we chose to allow Duncan to die a dignified and peaceful death, so he was given a morphine drip and taken off the ventilator. He died about 45 minutes later surrounded by his beautiful wife, his mother, his battle buddy Joe Mixson and the hospital chaplain he had come to know during his stay. It is the closest thing to a "good death" one could ask for a young man who fought so hard and long, only to have the limits of his body betray him. Once we knew there was no chance of any sort of quality of life, we felt we could not ask this brave young man who lived life to its fullest to spend his remaining days hooked to machines with no chance of recovery. Words cannot express the gratitude we feel towards all those who offered support and prayer to Duncan and our families during the past 5 months. We can take away from this experience the knowledge that good people exist in this world, that evil is worth fighting or that reason, and Duncan was a proud example of a good person who did not stand by and allow it to flourish by doing nothing. Duncan would have been 20 years old tomorrow - he will be forever 19 now, and forever missed. Love, Lee Crookston

This was an email I received on January 25th. Duncan's funeral was on Saturday and Marc and I attened. There were over 900 people, it was an amazing service! Please keep his family and wife in your prayers and all the men and women who are still in this war. If you would like more info go to:

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