Everyone who knew Pastor Larry loved him greatly! He was an incredible husband, father, and pastor. He was an avid runner, cyclist, and swimmer. He loved his wife, Sandee, extravagantly! He enjoyed golfing and fishing with his boys whenever the chance arose, taking his girls on daddy/daughter dates, playing with his 7 (soon to be 8) grandkids, and he sacrificed daily on behalf of his church and countless others! He was truly a giant among us!
Pastor Larry Ross had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 5 years ago. Among the different setbacks and affects of this neurological disease was sever and vivid nightmares. It was during one of those vivid nightmares that he violently fell out of bed just before midnight on Wednesday, June 24th causing him to break his C-4 vertebrate and fracture his C-2 and C-3. Along with that, there was a rupture of a vertebral artery which further contributed to significant damage to the spinal chord within the corresponding area. He was immediately flown via helicopter to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, thanks to God's provision, when there was no room at any local hospital that dealt with his level of trauma. On Friday, June 26th at 8:30pm a surgery was performed, fusing and expanding vertebrates C-2 thru C-6 with the goal to take the pressure off of his spinal cord and the swelling surrounding the damaged area. At the point of impact, he was paralyzed from the neck down and as a result, he also required a ventilator to breath and a feeding tube for nutrition. Our hope was that he would recover at some level but there are so many variables in a spinal injury like this that the doctors were unable/unwilling to speculate how soon or how much recovery will take place. In the meantime, the pain was excruciating and constant.
On Friday, July 3rd, we received heartbreaking news from the doctors that informed us that the prognosis for Larry was that he would not make any further recovery and that he would spend the rest of his days unable to move or even hold up his own head. He would have to live in a care facility where he would remain on a ventilator to breathe and a feeding tube to supply necessary nutrition to sustain life. In a God orchestrated moment, Sandee was able to explain to Larry his prognosis and what would be required. Larry was very clear that he did not want the reality of long term care on a ventilator and a feeding tube. He communicated he was sad, and at the same time, very much ready to be with Jesus. Following that, we had the most beautiful hour with just the six of us (Larry, Sandee, Kevin, Kim, Kelly, and Kasey), with him. At around 10pm the doctor came in to remove the ventilator and Larry passed peacefully at 3:25am, July 4th, 2015.
Obviously, with a catastrophic-care-situation like this, the expense can be overwhelming. Mom and dad had good insurance and for that we are grateful. However, the mounting medical bills are yet to be determined. Not to mention the unforeseen daily cost (hotel, food, fuel, etc) for Sandee as she and a small rotation of sibling support stayed by Larry's side throughout this incredible process. In addition, one of Larry’s final requests as we prepared to say goodbye was that he wanted his remains to be transported to Colorado to be buried near his parents in his hometown. All that said, we realize now that the total financial need will greatly exceed the $10,000 goal we initially set but we felt we had to start somewhere. Larry did everything he could in the time he had to make sure Sandee was cared for. And as we come into this reality of funeral needs and medical costs and such, we are acutely aware that there is still some challenge ahead. Any amount given will be used solely to take the financial burden off of Sandee and her children as they plan Larry’s “ultimate-retirement” celebration.
We believe God will provide all our needs and we thank you in advance for choosing to be a part of that provision process!
Lastly, we’d like to say that Larry’s beautiful wife, Sandee, has been surrounded by such an outpouring of love and support from friends, family and her children. She has felt your love and she cherishes each one of you.
On behalf of the immediate family, we are so grateful for all of you and your prayers, texts and virtual hugs.
“How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence.” (1 Thessalonians 3:9)