Paul St. Clair was born and raised in Portland, ME. This is where he met his soul mate of 43 years, Bonnie Noyes St. Clair. Paul and Bonnie raised their four boys with love and laughter. Later in life, after the boys have grown, three moved to North Carolina, Paul and Bonnie retired. They sold their house, packed up everything they could fit in the U-Haul, including their son Nick and their 5 pets.
Paul and Bonnie moved to NC to be with their family, which was Paul’s dream. To have all the boys and grandchildren together again. Paul and Bonnie bought their dream home, a beautiful park trailer and lived in close vicinity to Jason, Tim and Nick. Paul worked every day making their new home a home. Paul was a busy man with building decks, helping his son Jason with projects around the house and most importantly spending time with his family which he adored.
On August 7, 2017, Paul was rushed to Craven County Hospital with signs of a heart attack. Once Paul was admitted the Dr. noted that Paul needed to have his aortic valve replaced. This would be the second time Paul would have this surgery. In 1994, Paul had his aortic valve replaced and it was said that he would need it again in 10 years. As the years went on and checkups went well, it was not recommended to have this surgery done.
Once Paul was admitted to the hospital on August 7th, it was decided to proceed with open heart surgery for the aortic valve replacement and triple bypass. However, the Surgeon wanted to wait one-week due to Paul having fluid on his lungs. This would give time to heal and build strength.
On Monday, August 14, 2017 at 6:30am, Paul was brought to the OR for his open-heart surgery. As the day went on and hours went by the updates were always positive. Later that night after more than 10 hours had gone by Paul was still in surgery. One of the nurses came to the family to let them know when they closed his chest, his lungs were not working on their own. The nurse said they had to open his chest up again and would be trying everything they can. The nurse said they didn’t need a miracle but just short of a miracle. The Surgeon was communicating with Greenville and Duke Hospitals. A team of surgeons were rushed to Craven County from Greenville with a rare machine to help Paul’s lungs start working on their own. At 1am the team arrived, they let the family know that it could be 2-6 hours to transfer him to their machine. Once that was successful Paul would then be transported to Greenville Hospital. It was 6am before the transfer was complete and they could transport him. The surgeons said this would be the most challenging part. A team of surgeons followed the ambulance carrying Paul.
Paul arrived at Vidant Hospital in Greenville, NC at 7am on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. The surgeons and nurses then ran test, kept Paul comfortable and prayed his lungs and heart would start working on their own again. At first things were going well and looking positive. After 4 hours Paul’s kidneys starting to shut down. The surgeon then went to the family and explained it wasn’t a matter of if but when Paul would pass. The family knew what they had to do and what Paul would want. The nurses and surgeons gave them family time for goodbyes and slowly began to let Paul go, all the while keeping him comfortable.
5:00PM, Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Paul St. Clair, husband, father, grandfather, friend, passed away. Leaving is soul mate, 4 sons, Jason, Tim Todd and Nick, 2 daughters-in-law’s, 2 grandchildren and many friends. The heavens needed another Angel and boy did they get one. He was the kindest man, with a heart of gold. I can still hear his laugh and see his bright smile. I would give anything to give him one more high five.
Bonnie, his soul mate of 43 years is needing some financial help and that is why I am telling Paul’s story. The hospital was not in network with his Medicare insurance plan. The thought of Bonnie having to make all these payments, plus the bills they already had, now on just one social security check makes me sad. I do hope we can raise something to help her with the medical and funeral expenses she has acquired. Anything you can do will make an enormous impact. Thank you from the St. Clair Family.