Dead, Dead, Dead…Let It Be

How dare her loved ones be so selfish…

The family of a 13-year-old Oakland girl who was declared brain-dead after tonsil-removal surgery said Thursday that loved ones would keep her alive despite pronouncements by a doctor that she was “dead, dead, dead, dead.”

I am writing from the perspective of that 13 year-old girl.  The doctor had said she was dead; please let her go so that she can leave this world with much civility and respect. 

I am a 59 year-old male who at age 33 in 1988 was involved in a near fatal car accident.  As a result I was comatose for 2 months and pronounced dead twice.  My “Last Rites” were given and still I lived.  My parents’ figured my life was over and predicted a poor outcome if I should live.

However, my mom and dad were left out of the decision-making and my wife of 16 years wanted me alive (not for the reason you may think) so because of her own selfish reasons, I survived.  Nancy told my parents’ that she would never leave me but I had barely awakened from the coma and the nurse asked, “Who do you want for your guardian,” I said, my wife of course.   I wanted to say my dad, but Nancy was standing right there and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. 

 Well Nancy sure didn’t care about hurting my feelings or my credit rating or my pocketbook or my reputation.  I named her my guardian and she quickly took everything out of our names and put in her name only; then divorced me.  Nancy filed for divorce just 2 months after awakening from that coma.  The parents’ were correct for my life did end in that car wreck.  My kids’ were taken from me. I spent a year in hospitals, nursing homes and a rehabilitation center but I was never able to concentrate on getting better.

My disability checks were a measly $475 and Nancy kept my first one and conned me out of the next one.  Well I am not writing this because of what I lost monetarily, but of my now feeble mind and inability to get a job and being degraded to public housing.  I had a home in the country before the accident but I won’t get into all of what I had. 

I remarried and have a 10 year-old daughter that I am raising by myself.  Stephanie, has never known a place other than this and she wisely pointed that out to me the last time I got upset about my situation. 

I want to live and do for Stephanie to the best of my ability, and the best of my ability is not very much; even so Stephanie and I enjoy a super relationship.   Before Steph, I prayed for death.  Agony on a daily basis and tortured on a minute-by-minute basis. 

So though it will be a tremendous pain for you to bear, bear it so that your daughter will not have to.  Allow her to exit the confines here on earth and to rejoice with the angels, for she is truly one of them.

Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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