Tim was a 42 year old man who had been in an automobile accident at the age of 10. The accident left him physically dependent for all his needs, including feedings through a tube, bathing, diapering etc. He also suffered a brain injury that left him unable to speak or communicate with those around him. His body suffered from contractures and atrophy.
As he lay in his bed, year after year for 32 years, his mother watched her little boy develop into an adult with graying hair.
Tim never got to experience the things little boys and teenagers and young adults’ experience. What Tim did experience was his mother’s and fathers unselfish and undying love. His mother, while devoting herself to his care, also cared for his paraplegic father, who had been in a motor-vehicle accident.
We met Tim after receiving a call from his mom reporting something was not quite right. We assessed Tim’s condition and found his little body was starting to shut down.
His mom and dad had the option of rushing him to a hospital; but after caring for him for 32 years they decided to continue their care at home. We talked about his symptoms and how we would manage them. Together we arranged for Tim to be comfortable and to remain in his home.
After several weeks, Tim’s little body finally gave up. His mom, dad and sisters were all by his side reminiscing, looking at pictures and telling stories when he took his last breath. They all huddled around him, hugging him, kissing him and expressing their love for him.
His funeral was held to celebrate his life and the love he brought to his family. The church where the funeral was not large enough to hold the hundreds of friends Tim had touched during his short life.
For a little boy who never experienced adulthood, he taught us all so much.