Goodbye Terry / Au revoir Thierry

€888 of €100,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 23 days
(voir plus bas pour version française / see below for French version)

When I launched this campaign, my brother Terry had just undergone a major surgery following complications linked to his cancer.

Today, I am sad to report that he has passed away.

Terry was a fighter, I always knew it, though I never realized just how much until these last few days.

Doctors said he would not survive the surgery. He did.

An MRI showed some damage to his brain which lead them to believe he would no longer be able to move his feet. The next day, he did.

When they removed the tubes from his mouth and nose (that were helping him breath and eat) they said he would not make it through the night. He did.

The next day, he was weaker, and again they predicted he would not last long. But, again, he did...

Yesterday, the doctors told us he had become so weak that, despite all his struggling, his passing was now inevitable and the only real question was how much longer we wanted to prolong his suffering. Though we could have waited longer, there had already been some damage to his brain (due to lack of oxygen) and the fact that he could no longer drink or be fed (as he was no longer able to swallow) would also eventually become an issue. We were told that the kindest thing to do for him now would be to stop giving him his blood pressure medicine.

In cases like this, the blood pressure tends to drop very quickly, leading to the patient's death. With Terry though, once again, the result was unexpected.

We cut off his meds at 12:20 pm. His breathing started to slow down, slower and slower, and this went on for close to 12 hours as we watched him slowly slip away. He was no longer in pain, though, as the nurses were giving him morphine to help him relax and dull his senses. We knew he could still hear us, though, so we kept talking to him, comforting him, letting him know that he was not alone and that he was loved. His closest friends also came by to say goodbye.

On Wednesday, September 12, at 11:50 pm MDT, his heart stopped beating and my brother was gone.

It breaks my heart, but I know he is in a better place now. He no longer suffers, he no longer has cancer, all his problems are gone and, someday, I am certain we will meet again...

But in the meantime, back here on Earth, we must deal with the very real consequences of his passing. Not only the grieving, but also the financial blow that we have been dealt.

My brother lived here in Denver. My parents and I live in France. We had to book flights at the last minute. Then there are the hospital bills (for the surgery itself, all the other procedures that were done, the meds, etc.). And now we have to make arrangements for his funeral. All of these taken individually are expensive and now they are adding up. To be honest, I'm not even sure $100,000 would be enough to cover everything (it is hard to evaluate) but it would most definitely help as Terry did not have insurance, and we're not a wealthy family (not by a long shot).

So whether you knew Terry or not, if you think you can contribute something, no matter how small an amount, it would be greatly appreciated.

Once all our expenses have been covered, any remaining funds would be donated to a charity that fights against cancer.

=========================================================

[FRANCAIS / FRENCH]

Lorsque j'ai lancé cette campagne, mon frère Thierry venait d'être opéré suite à des complications liées à son cancer.

Aujourd'hui, je suis triste d'annoncer son décès.

Thierry était un battant... je l'ai toujours su, mais sans jamais réaliser à quel point.

Les docteurs disaient qu'il ne survivrait pas à son opération. Il a survécu.

Une IRM a révélé des lésions cérébrales et ils prédirent que mon frère ne pourrait plus bouger ses jambes. Le lendemain, il les bougeait (faiblement).

Lorsque les tubes dans sa bouche et son nez (pour l'aider à respirer et manger) furent retirés (à sa demande) les médecins prédirent qu'il ne passerait pas la nuit. Le lendemain, il était encore là.

Il devint ensuite de plus en plus faible et, une fois de plus, on nous affirma qu'il ne survivrait pas la nuit. Mais, une fois de plus, il survécut.

Hier, les docteurs nous ont dit qu'il était à présent si faible que, malgré sa résistance, sa mort était devenu inéluctable et que la seule vraie question à se poser était combien de temps nous voulions prolonger ses souffrances. Bien que nous aurions pu attendre plus longtemps, son cerveau avait déjà été endommagé (à cause du manque d'oxygène) et le fait qu'il ne pouvait plus avaler (ni nourriture ni même boisson) deviendrait tôt ou tard un véritable problème. On nous fit comprendre que la meilleure solution pour Thierry serait de ne plus lui donner le médicament qui régulait sa tension artérielle.

Dans de tels cas, la tension baisse très rapidement, conduisant au décès du patient. Avec mon frère, toutefois, le résultat fut de nouveau surprenant.

Ils arrêtèrent de lui donner ce médicament à 12h20. Sa respiration a progressivement commencé à ralentir... et cela dura près de douze heures ! Mais il ne souffrait plus car les infirmières lui donnaient de la morphine pour l'aider à se relaxer et à émousser ses sens. Nous savions qu'il pouvait nous entendre, alors nous avons continué à lui parler, constamment, pour le réconforter, pour qu'il sache que nous étions là, avec lui, qu'il n'était pas seul et qu'il était aimé. Ses amis les plus proches sont également venus le voir pour un dernier adieu.

Le mercredi 12 septembre, à 23h50 (7h50 heure française), le coeur de mon frère a cessé de battre et il s'est endormi pour la dernière fois.

J'ai le coeur brisé mais je sais qu'il est désormais en paix. Il ne souffre plus, il n'a plus de cancer, tous ses problèmes se sont envolés et, un jour, je sais que nous nous reverrons...

Mais en attendant, ici sur Terre, nous devons faire face aux conséquences très réelles de son décès. Non seulement notre peine et notre douleur, mais aussi les répercussions financières importantes qui en découlent.

Thierry vivait aux Etats-Unis. Mes parents et moi en France. Nous avons du réserver des vols en urgence, à la dernière minute. Il y a aussi les frais d'hospitalisation, de chirurgie, les médicaments, etc. Et à présent nous devons préparer ses obsèques. Tout ces éléments pris individuellement sont très coûteux (d'autant plus aux USA où les soins médicaux sont hors de prix), et là ils s'ajoutent les uns aux autres. Pour être franc, je ne suis même pas sûr que 100,000 € sera suffisant pour tout couvrir (c'est très difficile à évaluer) mais cela aiderait sans aucun doute car Thierry n'avait malheureusement pas d'assurance (elles sont également ici hors de prix) et nous ne sommes pas une famille riche (loin s'en faut).

Alors que vous ayez connu Thierry ou pas, si vous pensez pouvoir contribuer, peu importe le montant, cela serait vivement apprécié.

Une fois toutes les factures payées, tout fond restant sera versé à une oeuvre de charité pour la lutte contre le cancer.
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On September 12, 2018, my brother Terry passed away.

The main story has been updated accordingly.

If you haven't already, please do consider donating as it would greatly help with the expenses that keep piling up.

Grieving shouldn't have a price.
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The procedure for the blood clots had to be done twice, as the first time it only dissolved some of them. The second one, however, was more successful. The clots are now completely gone and, thankfully, there were no complications.

There have been small improvements since, little ones everyday. He is still extremely weak and unable to speak (though we suspect that is mostly due to the tubes in his mouth) but we have been able to communicate with him through simple questions which he is able to answer by blinking his eyes or even, today, nodding or shaking his head. He is clearly recognizing us and able to understand what we are saying.

He is a fighter and has already overcome incredible hardships in the past. The doctors are surprised he's even managed to come this far, so we remain positive and still hope that he will make a full recovery, despite the odds.

A big thank you to everyone who has, or will make a donation. The bills keep piling up and your contribution will be of great help.
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I talked to a doctor earlier today... and it doesn't look good.

There are apparently clots in his lungs which are affecting his blood pressure.

They will be doing a procedure soon that, if successful, should help dissolve those clots and stabilize his blood pressure.

However, the risks are extremely high...
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€888 of €100,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 23 days
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