(Please bear with the tone of this message. It is not my intent to be callous or uncaring. We are dealing with a tragic event that cannot be understood even when you are living through it, let alone if you’ve never experienced it, and my personal method for dealing with it is to be clinical in the aspects that require being clinical—J.M.)
As many readers and class participants are aware, our family has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new rifleman for some time. He was due in early December and was overdue.
Daniel Morgan (real name, not an alias) was born at 0040 on 24DEC13. A whopping and apparently robust 11lbs. During the checkout process from the hospital the final tests by the doctor detected a slight heart murmur. After contacting a pediatric cardiologist at the Children’s Hospital over in Spokane, Washington, the doctor instructed us to transport Morgan to Spokane for what he presumed would be a minor issue.
My son was born with a congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Lower Heart Syndrome. In Morgan’s case, the defect was a lack of development of his left ventricle. This condition results in a 100% mortality rate. There is a surgical intervention available called the Norwood Staged Interventions. This requires a series of three open heart surgeries beginning immediately and occurring over the course of 3-5 years. Unfortunately these surgeries offer only a 47% survival rate by the age of 3. Of the small percentage that do survive the surgeries, 64% suffer from some degree of mental retardation, and 75% suffer a “significant” functional structural disability. By the age of 5, the 47% who survive only enjoy a 50% survival rate (so only 25% of the 1 in 5000 children born with this defect survive to the age of 5, despite the best efforts of modern medicine. The defect is simply too rare and the procedures are too new—having been developed only in the 1970s.)
HH6 and myself, after as lengthy a consideration as possible under the circumstances, understood that the only moral option available to us in this situation was what the medical profession euphemistically refers to as “compassionate care.”
Morgan died at 2130 on 29DEC13. We are, as paradoxical as it may sound—as proud as we can be of the little warrior. For five very long days, he fought valiantly against literally impossible odds, finally succumbing 15 minutes after his daddy told him it was okay to give up the fight. The last conscious action (as far as we can tell it was a conscious action) was to open his eyes, make eye contact with his momma.
I know that the vast majority of the readership of this blog are Christian in faith. I am also aware that most of you are aware that my wife and I do not share your faith. Nevertheless, please do not for one moment think we will be anything but grateful for your prayers for Morgan, our beloved daughter, and ourselves.
Whatever your faith, and whatever our faith, it is my sincere hope that wherever Morgan’s spirit is now, there are good, brave men who will teach him the things I was supposed to, but didn’t get the opportunity.
I had no intention of sharing this information with the readership of the blog to tarnish what I genuinely hope is a most joyous holiday season for our many beloved friends and brethren who read this. CA and the other gentlemen at WRSA were kind enough to point out to me that as many readers and students have met our family and learned of some of our adventures over the last couple of years, and do genuinely care. I gave them permission to share the information with the readership of WRSA.
I have noticed, read, and appreciate the concern and the condolences shared over there.
Many readers have emailed asking about sending donations to help in any way. While—as any long-time reader will know—we generally do not accept donations or subscriptions for the blog. We don’t believe in accepting charity and we provide this blog and classes because of our love of the Republic and liberty. Nevertheless, as anyone can imagine, this was certainly an unexpected occurrence, and is not something any parent can—or should—prepare for.
Like most people, we would prefer donations to go to a worthy cause in memory of Morgan. We will however, gratefully accept any assistance anyone desires or feels compelled to provide. If you feel so compelled, donations may be sent through our mail drop to:
PO Box 278
Kooskia, ID 83539
It will take us a minimum of a week or two to receive anything sent to the mail drop, but rest assured if such donations are made, you will receive our sincerest gratitude and a physical manifestation of that gratitude.
Do not however, take this as a “request” for donations. Given our druthers, what we would ask people do in honor of Morgan is three-fold:
1) Hug your children—no matter how old—and tell them you love them.
2) Offer whatever prayers you believe are worthy to your God(s).
3) Take advantage of the fact that you were blessed at birth with a heart that works. Go do some fucking PT.
Again, please accept our sincerest heartfelt gratitude for any well-wishes and prayers, and our apologies because we will be somewhat sporadic with responding to emails and mail for a short time as we work through the immediate grieving process. We WILL get back to you, and rest assured, all currently scheduled classes are still a go at this time.
Most Sincerely Yours,
John and HH6
FYI: Sam Culper has also set up a Paypal account at firstname.lastname@example.org for those so inclined.
Please pass the word.