Pap’s Passing

We recently had a death in the family as we lost our patriarch, Dave, who all the grandkids and great-grandkids simply called “Pap”. He was a wonderful man, very intelligent, caring, and soft-spoken. Dave is my wife’s father and his death was unexpected and is still devastating to our very tight-knit family.

Dave was hospitalized for one problem and while in the hospital tests found he had terminal cancer. He was at first given a few months and then the next day the doctors reduced that prediction down to days. He went from the hospital to Hospice for two days and then came here to our house with a Hospice nurse until he passed away a few days later.

Having Pap come to our house with Hospice made it nice for Ashleigh so she was able to be with him but have her bed and equipment available. We had lots of family visiting both while Pap was in the hospital and for the funeral and again having our home as the meeting place was helpful for Ash to participate.

A sad but interesting note is that Ashleigh has not been able to cry since her accident. She gets upset and tries to cry but had not cried any tears. While we were at the funeral and our cousin was singing two beautiful songs Ashleigh did cry with tears for her Pap.

It is a loss that will never be overcome but we are glad that so many of the kids and grandkids got to know Pap and feel his love for them.

We really weren’t sure how to deal with it in regards to Ashleigh because we were getting conflicting and confusing information from the doctors. We ended up just telling her everything we were told along the way. Ashleigh visited Pap in the hospital and stayed with me at home while I converted her therapy room into a bedroom for her Pap and Grandma. This allowed my wife to spend as much time as she could at the hospital.


  1. Cheryl,stp-mom of Danielle on August 5, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    I’m sorry about the loss of your father-in-law. I just found your web-site and it made me cry, on Oct. 27th 2005, our then 17 yr old daughter, (mine by marriage), was severely brain injured in a car accident and as you well know, no one in this immediate family has been the same since. Just this month I started a web site
    more or less for my own mental therapy. Please know that our prayers are with you all.
    God Bless,
    Cheryl Eads

  2. Anonymous on August 9, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and setting up the BI recovery network. My mother recently also suffered brain damage as a result of an attempted suicide, and although it does not seemed to be as severe as in the case of your daughter, her mind has been traumatized and we’re working with her everyday to get her back to where she was before. I cried while watching the interview video because I can relate to you on the emotions you and your families went through when you first saw your daughter in ICU. It was one of the most scariest time of my life and I was willing to give up anything to have my mother’s life saved. We’re fortunate that she lived and has made significant improvement since, but we all know the road to recovery remain long and hard.

    My hearts goes out to you and your family, and please accept my sincere wish that Ashleigh will recover fully and live her life in happiness and peace.



  3. Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA on August 21, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your lose my friend. My Dad passed away January 10, 2007, so I can identify with your lose. God bless you in your process.

    My name is Craig J. Phillips and I am a traumatic brain injury survivor as well as a master’s level rehabilitation counselor. Through out my lifetime, I have taught myself how to overcome many insurmountable odds. These strategies have helped me to prosper and succeed. On February 6, 2007, I decided to start a blog at Second Chance to Live presents topics that motivate encourage and empower the reader. As a tbi survivor, I can speak from my experience, strength and hope. As a professional, I provide information to encourage, motivate and empower both disabled and non-disabled individuals. Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up. Second Chance to Live empowers the readers to live life on life’s terms.

    Please read my post; as that will help you understand more about my background. Professionally speaking, I have nursing training on the LPN level, I have an undergraduate degree in Theology, with a minor in Physical Education / Recreation, and a masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I have practical experience with in nursing, emergency medicine, physical education, private and public rehabilitation, chemical dependency counseling, day treatment and partial hospitalization for mentally ill adults, and I have worked with in both the cemetery and funeral industries. In addition I have been pursuing my own personal empowerment for the last 30 years. Please consider sharing my site with anyone who needs to be encouraged, motivated or empowered.

    Per my traumatic brain injury, at the age of 10, I was in a motor vehicle accident. Upon impact — the Cadillac hitting our VW Beetle — I was thrown forward from where I sat, behind my father who was driving. On my way forward, I snapped my left femur on my Dad’s bucket seat and then hit the windshield. When my head hit the windshield, I sustained an open skull fracture. The injury to my brain resulted in my remaining in a coma for 3 weeks. Upon waking from what I thought was a bad dream, I found my left leg elevated and in traction. Slowly, it became apparent that I was not merely in a bad dream. Although I am unable to remember much from that time in my life, one memory stands out. The right side of my forehead — where the fracture occurred — was depressed inward like a shallow bowl. I later learned that my right frontal lobe had been damaged, that I had sustained a severe brain contusion, and that my brain stem had been impacted.

    In 1967 neurological rehabilitation was not available. As a result, I was virtually on my own. I had to re-teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. Although my injuries were life threatening and I was not expected to succeed beyond high school, I went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have learned that daunting pessimism and negativity is pointless. My hope is that through visiting my site, those individuals who may have lost hope will see a new light. This light will in turn guide them to a renewed hope, an array of possibilities, and a new zest for living.
    Second Chance to Live, will enable the reader to live life on life’s terms.
    Please share my site with veterans, soldiers and their families.
    Thank you for your time and kindness,

    Respectfully yours,

    Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA

  4. Anonymous on September 17, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    I found your site after googling the term, “nero storm”, and by far, your site has brought more understanding for what we are going through than anything else I have found. Our “Jax” was hit by a drunk driver on Aug. 17th and has a severe brain injury. She is still in a coma right now, but we are praying for her to wake up, so that we can start the rehab journey. Thank you for sharing your story. Although right now, we are all emotionally dead, we are preparing for the road ahead. Your story has given us just alittle more stregnth and knowledge to go on, through the tears, the anger, and the frustration of the system we call insurance. If you would like to know Jax’s story, we have created a my space for her. Just go to, click on people, and type in her name. Jackie Murphree. God Bless you for the stregnth you have shown and the hope you have given us. We will gladly add Ashliegh to our prayer list.

  5. Anonymous on October 27, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for your site. It is a ministry. My friend was hit by a drunk driver also. This site is by far the one that has helped me understand a bigger picture.

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