bfdboston Posted August 27, 2007 Share Posted August 27, 2007 Ronald Palazzolo, age 47 November 5, 1959 - August 19, 2007 Ron was my best friend. I was his primary caregiver for the past four months and was with him every single step of the way from when the cough started in December to finally the diagnosis on May 25, 2007. He passed away on Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 1:15 in the morning. Ron was only 47 years old. He leaves his mother and four sisters, several nieces and nephews and many friends. He suffered during his last days and his family became the most horrible people one could ever imagine. Because I was his legal health proxy and in hospice care at my home, when it became too much towards the end, I suggested we go to his house where there were others who could assist with the caregiving. That lasted all of one week and they then wanted to have his medication "adjusted" and then bring him back home (he was showing signs of dementia). Needless to say, they were just selfish and didn't want to deal. They lied to Ron and got him, upon entry to the hospital, to sign another health care proxy form which he did, and which the attending and nurses said he was heavily sedated and not able to sign the form naming his mother and sister as the proxy. I was not allowed to see him even until I showed my proxy and the lawyers from the hospital then agreed I could see him. All he wanted was not to die in the hospital and be at my house with his family to access him. I did it for months without help, I could have done another few weeks, but I could not take him out of the hospital and the family would not either. He begged me every time I saw him to take him, but I had to tell him I couldn't because of the proxy issue. Ultimately, he became agitated and restless and the new proxy (the mother and sister) requested his medication DECREASE, so, in turn he became very agitated and then assaulted a nurse and a family member. Now he was going no place. He did not eat or drink for 15 days while in the hospital. It broke my heart the family would not take him home. There were four sisters, a mother, nieces and nephews and myself who could've done what the nurse did at the hospital (a non hospice facility as well), which was give him medication on time. The family had issue with that. Ron finally died on August 19th. He did not die peacefully and it was because of his family. He asked me on his deathbed days prior "does my family love me?" I had to answer, being the true friend I am and always was and will be, "I don't know". I couldn't have the heart to say no, but I don't think the answer was yes. Even he wrote down a list of seven (7) things he wanted upon his death. His family made sure none of those wishes were met and they had the paper written in his own handwriting. From simple things as to what he wanted to wear; to who was to read the eulogy (he wanted me, but I was not asked by family), to wanting pallbearers (all of who were strangers which was an insult to him); to where his final resting place was to be. They had him buried where he did not want to be, and there was no reason why he couldn't have been buried at the cemetery of his choosing (it was in the same town and they were doing burials). Since this began I have given my total support to Ron being his advocate, protector, coordinator, spiritual counselor, business manager, housekeeper, nurse: a caregiver. I can put my head down at night knowing Ron knew that and he thanked me and told me he loved me over and over and could not thank me enough. I was the one who took the misdirected anger from his dysfunctional family and the only one who suffered was Ron. They have to live with themselves with that. I do not. However, I am deeply bothered by how they made Ron's final days full of hell and how they lied to him and deceived him and tricked him just to leave him in the hospital. It's not right. Thursday, after the funeral services, one of the sisters (the worst of the bunch besides the mother) called me and was crying and crying and wishing. Wishing? I told her, just what I thought, she will have to live with herself knowing she made her brother's life hell in the end and not abiding by his wishes. Even to the point of not letting me, his best friend, see him. And would not be in the room when I was there. I slept on the chairs in the middle of the night even in the hospital so he wouldn't be alone. She did nothing but get his car and the mother did nothing but continue collecting the money from his business. My friend Ron was a good man. He suffered terribly with pain. He was used by his family and he knew it. But he knew I cared and loved him and helped him all I could. I just pray he found peace finally and is with God. And his family should be ashamed of themselves and that hospital for honoring a proxy which was not valid and creating suffering to someone who was dying of stage IV lung cancer. God bless you Ron, I will always love you and please watch over me as you promised and wait for me until the time comes when it's my turn. This was a rewarding experience to help my best friend. We both know and God knows. Love , Jim Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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