David Starr: Memorial & Funeral

How does one even begin to talk about a tragedy? 

My name is April Starr. My father, David Starr, is currently comatose in the ICU.

First, let me tell you about him as he was, still is, one of a kind. My father started life with not much to his name. He served in Vietnam way back when, and once done with his service he came to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams of entertainment. He got small voice acting roles, made a band. Made songs about love and romance. And in his second marriage, he had me. I'm his only child and things were looking good in his life. He had a nice home, a child, a loving wife. But things changed, his wife unfaithful and soon he found himself fighting for custody for me. She made his life Hell, spreading lies to everyone about physical and mental abuse and my father had to get rid of everything to fight for me. In the end, he won. It cost him everything, but he had me. And there's not a day I didn't wish I told him how much I appreciate him and everything he went through.

We went from home to home, smaller and smaller. Last year he remaster his old music into a modern CD and he's so close to completing his dream movie: Seventh Dimension. My father pursued a career as a movie director and producer and still was giving his all to make sure I was happy. Make sure I got the college education I wanted. He raised me as both mother and father and stood strong and fearless along the way. He's my hero, my champion and my inspiration. He's a fighter and doesn't let anyone step on him and would do anything to protect. And though I know it was hard for him, he was ready to let me spread my wings and take on life on my own.

This all started 2 weeks ago, in a very abrupt chain reaction that has all but ruined our lives. I got a call 3 weeks ago from my God Mother, telling me my father has been sick for months. He can barely move. He's constantly unable to use the restroom properly. He's shed 60lbs and refuses medical attention. No matter how kind my father is too strangers and friends, I know full well my father is a stubborn as stubborn can be. He's survived mental and physical pains his whole life and does things on his own. I can only imagine he couldn't put his pride aside for something he truly felt he could win...

So, I called him and he told me he's fine. Promises me he's not dying and he'd call me everyday. But I still make plans to fly out in a few days to talk sense into him going into a hospital.

One day before my flight, my father falls and is taken to the ER. One day before my flight my dad is rushed to the ICU for kidney failure. One night before my flight, his heart stops.

My father didn't have a pulse for 19 minutes. Just before being pronounced dead, it came back. But the damage is done and my father's fallen into a coma with severe brain damage. I may never have my father back, even if he wakes up.

And now I'm here. Haunted by the image of my father with an oxygen tube down his throat, IV in his arm, cathetars and regular dialysis to clean his blood. His body in pain and going through seizures and all the while he can't wake up. 

I learned about how this all happened, so quickly. The Doctors believe he has prostate cancer. It got so swollen it blocked his bladder so he couldn't use the restroom properly. And thus, his kidneys couldn't handle all the toxins in his body and they failed. He was stable in the ICU that night, but the potassium levels in him is what caused his cardiac arrest and changed the game. And now, my father is comatose and is likely to never open his eyes again. Likely to never communicate again. Likely to never move again. 

There's so much I'm scared of. So much I have to do for him, and I'm trying to be strong. Like him, my fighter. In a time like this I need some advice but the man I always turned to can no longer help me. And it's utterly terrifying. So I keep telling myself, "What would Papa do?" 

I can't find his Will & Testament. I can't find an estate plan. I can't afford to pay the rent on his home. I can't afford to pay the bills. I can't afford lawyers to help me protect his estate and items. I can't even afford to fly to California to stay by his side for long. And I can't even fathom the debt I may face from his medical needs.

And if worse comes to worse, how can I afford to bury him next to him mom? How can I help him have the memorial and funeral he deserves? I feel so helpless when all I want to do is protect him like he did me. Give him my everything like he did for me. I stayed by his side every night until I had to fly back to the East Coast.

Reality doesn't pause for you to grieve. There's still my own bills to pay, my own job to keep. Reality has given me a hard slap to the face that I can't give what I don't have.

So I'm here now. Biting back that stubborn pride my father and I share to ask for help. Because if my father was willing to give all for me, I should do everything in my power for him. So many of his friends, more than I knew even existed, have supported me in doing this. To help save him as I learned he saved so many others before me. Fostering loved ones, giving a place to stay to those in need. Protecting people from taking their own life to protecting a woman and her little dogs from some wild coyotes roaming the streets. 

My dad never stopped protecting people, and I never realized how much so until now. So I ask for you to help me protect him. Protect his life, his home, his dreams. All of the funds earned from this will go to his needs and his home. And if it's truly his time to go, then to memorial and to bring him back home to his family, his birthplace. And lay down with his mother, and his siblings who've already gone.

Help me to please give back to him the 25 years he's dedicated to me. Please help me do right by him. 

I love you Papa. Please come back One Day.


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April Starr 
Los Angeles, CA
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