December 15, 2011 |
IT WAS the day she had longed to see, one that for years seemed likely to elude her as she battled cystic fibrosis. But Ashley Owens had just received a double-lung transplant, in November 2009. The organs had been donated by a young boxer, Francisco "Paco" Rodriquez, who had died of head injuries at the Blue Horizon. The operation gave her the ability to breathe again without obstruction and enabled her last June 25 to walk down the aisle and exchange vows with Jesse Quinter at Blue Falls Grove in Reading.
November 11, 2011 |
Shelley DeLaurentis gets a little annoyed every time she's asked how she and husband Michael coped with what Shelley refers to as their double whammy - two of their three children suffering from life-threatening diseases. In particular, caring for the youngest, cancer-stricken Susanna, until the inevitable end. The question suggests they had an alternative. Of course, no parent ever does. "I never really dwelled on it," says Shelley, 62, a slight woman with a no-nonsense haircut and a familiar demeanor.
October 7, 2011
"The Mayor of CHOP is back in office," Chris Nestler posted on Facebook. The mayor would be his son, Conner, 19, who has been coming to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia so long, so often, you'd think they'd at least give him a room with a flat-screen TV to watch the baseball playoffs. Children's did get the NFL channel since his last visit in June. Sitting in his hospital room Wednesday, watching the Phillies, ordering takeout wings with the nurses, Conner looked like a normal sports fan, albeit one who flushes his own IV as if he were Conner Nestler, M.D. After the first three batters in the top of the first inning, Conner said, "This is going to be a long game for St. Louis.
July 22, 2011
By Mike Hoyt A few years ago, my old boss David Laventhol had an extended conversation with Rupert Murdoch about newspapers. It was after some sort of big-deal journalism dinner, and they talked long after the tired waiters wished they'd go. David had a storied career in newspapers. He helped invent the Style section of the Washington Post when he was a young editor there. He was editor and publisher of Newsday, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and president of Times Mirror, finishing his career with me at the Columbia Journalism Review.
April 19, 2011 |
When Francisco "Paco" Rodriguez died of head injuries in a 2009 bout at the Blue Horizon, his wife Sonia signed an authorization form that permitted seven of his organs to be used for transplants. Ultimately, that courageous stroke of a pen by a grieving widow saved the lives of five people. With the help the Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program, Sonia wrote four of the recipients a letter (the fifth had been a family member). In it, she described the abiding love Paco had for her and their baby daughter and said she hoped one day they could meet.
December 1, 2010 |
Blessed by Paco: Five survivors cherish gifts of life from boxer DEATH WAS NEAR. They told her that. Chances were it could be weeks - perhaps longer but not significantly unless she had a lung transplant. For years, Ashley Owens had known that she would not live to be 30 or even 25, that cystic fibrosis would sweep her away one day before she would have a chance to have a career or a wedding or children. It was a given she had come to accept. But now that she was coughing up blood and was in what her doctors called the "the end stages," the sudden finality of her circumstances terrified her. All of it seemed to be happening too soon.
December 17, 2009 |
Brian McTear is haunted by the time he almost met his best friend, the person he came to call his "soul mate," Bobby Wolter. It happened in the meat section of the Thriftway in Fishtown, up on Aramingo. Brian never uttered a word to Bobby about that day, but he finally wrote a confessional on his blog in August: I knew it was you, because you were dressed in the same clothes as your Myspace photo at the time . . . and you had on an Urban Outfitters shirt (. . . which I figure only an Urban Outfitters employee would be caught dead in, right?
December 4, 2009 |
Samantha Marie Grosse, 22, of Lansdale, a senior at the University of Florida, died Monday at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia after an 18-year battle with cystic fibrosis. Miss Grosse was at the center for treatment when she was found unconscious overnight in the bathroom inside her room, said her father, Jeffrey C. Grosse. Autopsy results were withheld pending laboratory tests, said Jeff Moran, spokesman for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office. Spokeswoman Kim Guenther said that under hospital policy, any "unexpected death" is handled by the medical examiner.
July 19, 2008 |
The comedian Kenneth Keith Kallenbach died of complications from cystic fibrosis, according to an autopsy report released yesterday by the Delaware County medical examiner. Kallenbach, 39, was best known as a member of the "Wack Pack" on Howard Stern's radio show. He suffered from the inherited disease and died April 24 at Riddle Memorial Hospital after being transferred from the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Thornbury, where he had been held since mid-March. After an autopsy in April, the medical examiner said further investigation was needed to determine the cause of death.
February 19, 2006 |
For sixth grader Tommy Geromichalos, St. Cyril's School in East Lansdowne has become a second home. "I've been here since kindergarten. All my friends are here, and the teachers are great," he said. So when the 12-year-old heard the Catholic school might have to close, he put in a "special emergency wish" to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to keep his school open. Tommy has cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening illness, so he was eligible for a wish, said Dennis Heron, executive director of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania.