Friday, February 18, 2011

Mother Faces Agonizing Decision

DENVER -- This is a story about a boy named Jack. He is 10 years old.
He is in the fourth grade and, according to his mom, one of the smartest kids in the classroom, a wonderful kid.
Jack also has severe spastic cerebral palsy and dystonia, a neurological movement disorder. When not in school, he spends his days in his wheelchair or in bed. Since September, he has been attached to a ventilator and must be fed through a tube.
This is the problem. Jack now requires round-the-clock nursing care, which is how I found out about him and his mother, Stacey Linn.
When I reached her, it was late afternoon on Thursday, and she had just gotten off the phone with Jack's care representative. What would be involved, she asked, in putting Jack permanently in the hospital?

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