What a sad, shameful, society we live in when a hospital has the right (under British law) to apply to the courts to forestall further treatment for any human being…
For ten months, Charlie has been living in the intensive-care unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. In March, his doctors decided that there was nothing more they could do for him, and they recommended that his parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, withdraw his ventilator. They refused, on the grounds that an untried experimental treatment was available in the United States. The hospital, in accordance with British law, applied to the courts to forestall further treatment. In April, the High Court found for the doctors and against the parents. In May, the Court of Appeal upheld the initial decision. In early June, the Supreme Court agreed. And this week, the European Court of Human Rights — the last court of jurisdiction — refused to intervene.
These parents only asked to be allowed to take their child to the United States for an experimental treatment. Just imagine, for a moment, if the hospitals had applied, and courts had ruled, the same way when parents wanted to treat their child who was afflicted with chicken pox, measles, polio, or some other ailment that has since passed the experimental stage and has become treatable.
I am so disgusted. I will never visit the UK, or Europe, because I do not want to give such authority to hospital administrators and court personnel who are simply looking at numbers rather than people.
No compassion, no regard for human dignity, no respect for life. As I said… Shameful.
Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for Charlie Gard, he and his parents are so helpless and alone. Make use we implore you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to their assistance in this great need
that they may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all their necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, and that they may praise God with you and all the elect forever. We promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as our special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.
If you have not been following the Charlie Gard case in England, you may be surprised by the turn events in that case. You see… Charlie Gard is a 10-month old child who will be put to death tomorrow because the government of England has ruled that he does not possess the right to life and he is not worth saving.
This has been in the news lately, no not the news you have probably been watching where politicians spend all their time fighting over policies they themselves will never truly enforce and for budgets they know they will not keep. This news is real news, not fake news. The value of human dignity and human life is real for every human being, not just those who the media portrays as worthy.
You can find out more about Charlie Gard by searching his name on Google, but I wanted to point out two quotes you should read regarding authorities and medical “experts” who are,
entrusted with the responsibility of extending the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, so that patients who, after a most critical diagnosis, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted mercy death.
concluded, on the basis of extensive, high-quality expert evidence, that it was most likely Charlie was being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress and that undergoing experimental treatment with no prospects of success would offer no benefit, and continue to cause him significant harm.
Oh wait, my bad. That first quote was a statement from Adolf Hitler in reference to Reich Leader Bouhler and Dr. Brandt back in 1939.
A society that fails to remember history is doomed to repeat it.
May God save us all.
The last month has been the most chaotic, heart-wrenching, emotional, time of my entire life, so please bear with me because I feel the need to get this all out.
Thirty days ago, we took my mother to the emergency room at Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton because she was coughing up some blood. Twenty-six days ago, she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer that had metastasized in her soft tissue, adrenal gland, liver, spine, and brain. Twenty-five days ago, my mother came home from the hospital with the belief that she would have approximately three months to live without treatment, and she began to wait diligently to find out if she would test positive in a marker test for new treatment options. Twenty-four days ago, she began a series of daily radiation treatments to reduce swelling in her brain, trips that were taking more and more of her energy each day.
Fourteen days ago, my mother’s oncologist informed her that the marker tests were negative and she was not a candidate for the new treatments so her only option was traditional chemotherapy and radiation. She declined such treatment. My mother wanted quality over quantity, she wanted comfort over combat, she wanted her last days to come on her own terms, not through sterile tubing and bitter tablets. Before we walked out of the office that day we were told to start thinking in terms of weeks, not months. Thirteen days ago, Tanner Hospice showed up with all of the equipment she would need to remain comfortable and they assured us they were here for the duration. And they were.
Nine days ago, in the morning, my sister and I were making plans for her to come see our mother on June 9th, by the afternoon I was telling her that she might want to come sooner rather than later. Seven days ago my mother’s hair was beginning to fall out because she was not getting enough nutrition because the cancer was eating it all, and she asked me to shave her head. Six days ago, mom did not eat anything all day and was resistant toward taking her medications. I told my sister that she needed to come even sooner.
Five days ago, we finally got mom into the hospice bed. We needed the help of hospice and the local fire department, but we got her into the bed. Up until the night before, she resisted all attempts to get her into the hospice bed. She knew that once she went into it she was not going to come out of it. Four days ago, my sister arrived just after noon and mom was alert enough to talk to her and hold her hand. Three days ago, the hospice nurse had to increase mom’s medication because she was showing signs of increased pain. Two days ago, in the morning, mom’s breathing became more labored, and hospice told us to be ready by Sunday.
Forty-eight hours ago, I walked into mom’s room to sit with her. As I sat with her, I talked to her about all of the love we had for her. I talked about the value of the life lessons she taught me, I reminded her about some of our more memorable birding trips, I laughed about our “fierce competitions” in Words With Friends, and I then I thanked her for everything. She was the mom that God sent for my sister and I, and God doesn’t make mistakes. I walked out of her room at 5:22pm to talk to my sister for a few moments, and when I returned at 5:25pm, she was gone.
Sharon Moore Barrett (I won’t post her middle name here because she hated it), age 74, of Carrollton, Georgia, was born into eternal life on Saturday, June 3, 2017 after a brief, but courageous, battle with cancer. She was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada on January 14, 1943. She was the daughter of the late William Stewart Gregg and the late Helen Ann McKechnie (Moore) Chilimpis. Sharon was retired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where she worked as a records supervisor.
Sharon immigrated to the United States with her mother and sister, Sandra, on June 7, 1944 via the Great Northern Railway at Blaine, Washington. Her mother married William Strother “Pete” Moore on September 4th, 1948, and she and her sister were adopted by Grandpa Pete on August 22, 1950. She was raised and lived most of her life in and around the Las Vegas area, including Boulder City. After her own two children she loved the LVMPD most of all. Although she retired many years ago, not a day went by without a story about her days at the old Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the merger with the Las Vegas Police Department, or the many different events with LVMPD. People will always remember her for her beautiful hair, her shrimp dip, and her pea green Mustang II that got flooded underneath the old City Hall in the 1970’s. But, we will always remember her as the best role model and friend that two children could ask for.
Survivors include one daughter, Katherine Barrett of New Albany, Indiana; one son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Joyce Barrett of Carrollton, Georgia; three grandsons, Joshua Barrett, Joseph Barrett, Jacob Barrett, of Carrollton, Georgia; as well as two nephews; three nieces, two great-nieces, and several cousins.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her adoptive father, William Strother Moore; her step-father, Thomas George Chilimpis, her sister, Sandra Ann Gove; her uncle, Robert McKechnie; and her cousin, John McKechnie.
Sharon requested no service or memorial, but did request that any donations in her memory be made to Tanner Hospice of Carrollton, Georgia at 101 Clinic Avenue, Carrollton, Georgia, 30117, specifically in support of sitter services. If hospice services had the resources for sitter service, more people could pass into eternal life in the comfort of their own homes surrounded by loved ones.
Today is the day. The beginning of a new season. The first day of Spring. New life is springing up around us, nature is “refreshing” after the cold and darkness of Winter. Teresa of Avila reminds us that “Just as there are seasons in the world around us, so there are in our interior life”. Our lives often mimic seasons with physical warmth and cold, psychological highs and lows, and spiritual light and darkness. This week I found myself emerging from my own physical Winter as a Spring began to blossom from the depths of my spiritual soul.
Upon entering the Catholic Church, I often pondered the path God wanted me to follow. I have prayed for direction, I have pled for clarity. I have heard Him calling, and I have tried to answer that call each time. I answered His call when I decided to serve on the RCIA team, I answered His call when I led a Lenten small group for a few years, and I answered His call when I agreed to take on Jr. High Youth Ministry. When I answered His call to serve as the Director of Religious Education at St. Peter’s I knew I was still heading the right direction, and that has not changed. Each time I have answered His call, He has led me down paths I never knew existed, and even though there have been obstacles that seemed overwhelming blocking my path, He always “has my back” as long as I keep my faith in Him. Always. I have known for quite some time that I am right where God wants me to be.
As I sat listening to Curtis Martin this week at the Amazing Parish Conference, he spoke about evangelization and discipleship, and I was reminded of the simplest of requests that Jesus asks of us. “Come, and Follow Me”. As Martin continued to speak, I reflected on those words and the most amazing vision began to unfold within me. I finally understood why I stepped up to help in RCIA, why I decided to lead the Lenten Small Group, and why I served nearly six years at OLPH in Jr. High Youth Ministry. I have never doubted why I am at St. Peter’s but His plan is so clear now. His will for me took a considerable amount of time. It took time for me to understand my own human imperfections. It took time for me to overcome my own human weaknesses that kept distracting me from His vision. It took time for me to open my heart so fully that He could “spring” his plan from deep within my soul.
One of my favorite paragraphs of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has always been #520, which tells us that Jesus is our model, the perfect man, “who invites us to become his disciples and follow him”. This paragraph may sound obvious to many people, because each of the four Gospels have an account of Jesus actually speaking these words, but I never fully understood the depth of His call for me to serve. I never realized how much He had formed me in my philosophy for religious education. I never knew His plan for me was not necessarily the message, but the journey in front of me.
We are all called to be disciples, we are all called to follow Him, but we are not all called to serve the same way. St Therese of Lisieux said, “If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness”. The same can be said of our own discipleship, our own service, and our own journey with Him. My journey is far from over, but I have discovered a new joy; a new way to serve Him in ways that will bring His Good News to more people. The flame within my soul is on fire once again, as I incorporate this new calling into my personal life, my work life, and most importantly, my faith life. This week, I was in the right place at the right time as God allowed my faith to blossom and now it’s time for me to get to get my hands dirty and get to work. St. Paul told the Colossians in Chapter 3, Verses 23-24, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.
Spring has sprung, and to commemorate this first day of Spring, I am happy to reveal that I will be praying for you. Yes, you. He has called me to share my journey in a way that will help spark a flame in others and help them learn more about Him as they continue on their journey. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, specifically so they could pray for each other, hold each other accountable, counsel each other, and most importantly, share their testimony. It may take some work, there is nothing wrong with hard work. Proverbs 14:23 says, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty”. I can see the path that God has laid out in front me and I am ready to roll up my sleeves. Margaret Atwood wrote, “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt”. Who knew dirt could smell so good?
Good night, and God Bless You!
My Aunt Sandy died fifteen years ago today…
Sandra Ann Gove
November 20, 1940 – March 9, 2002
I miss you Auntie. We all miss you.
Eternal rest, grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.