In an Instant

Amy Smith June 09, 2021

George was taken to Mansfield Hospital Memorial Day for the pain in his arm that occurred from his ablation on May 11. He was admitted to try and investigate why he was having the swollen and painful arm.

 From there, we have been on a downward spiral:

  • Tuesday:  They were working to control his pain and come up with a treatment plan.
  • Wednesday:  A rapid response was called as George was unresponsive.   He came back with a negative CT scan.  He rallied some for the afternoon, but then had another “episode” that led to 2nd CT scan.  He then went into cardiac arrest around 9:30 pm.  He was resuscitated and in “critical” but “stable” condition.
  • Thursday:  Stable condition deteriorated as there was concern for a GI bleed, and still no explanation for unresponsiveness as his scans were clear.  They were unable to perform an MRI due to his pacemaker. They did complete an EEG and two more CT’s
  • Friday:  Comparison of all CT’s started to show some changes which now revealed as a multifocal stroke affecting several areas and both sides of his brain.  Neurology said we needed to give him some time to rally from the trauma, his Vital signs were good and bleeding had stopped. 
  • Monday: the end of our window to give a promising prognosis, obviously the longer a person is unresponsive the less meaningful recovery is possible. Time to ask the difficult questions and have the uncomfortable conversations 
  • Wednesday: we waited a couple more days past the “window”, more neurological exams/assessments and conversations with his medical team, with the decision to transfer to hospice care until his passing. The doctors cannot tell us if his passing will be minutes, hours or days. Please pray for George's ease of passing to his savior Jesus Christ.  George will then be cremated. 
    At this time, we do not have any plans for services but that may change.  George and Keoni will remain here with me at the campground.

 That’s the nuts and bolts of George’s story.  As always for these situations, It does not make sense, there is no why and we have no words to convey the loss to our family.  He has provided us with a silver lining….

George is a generous man.  We already knew this, but in his passing, he is going to donate what he can.  At this time, we are confident he will be donating his cornea's.  Giving 2 people the gift of sight.

Through the National Temporal Bone Donor Program established by the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Institute, a Harvard teaching hospital dedicated to eye (ophthalmology) and ear, nose, throat, head and neck (ENT) care and research, George will be donating his temporal bones (ear bone area), brain and DNA for research.  When I spoke to the lady this evening, she told me they do not normally get "normal" (non hearing impaired) donors and/or stroke victims for brain research, which they are very thankful for. 

I was confidently able to make these decisions because I knew George’s wishes.  We had had these hard conversations in the past. 
If you take anything from our experience

  • TALK about what you want to happen at the time of your death
  • HONOR what your loved ones would like done at their death.
  • ORGAN DONATION - I have learned a lot. 

 One thing I have learned is that your life can change in an instant. In less than 2 weeks our 12 year old baby boy Keoni died. George was devastated over the loss of our traveling buddy dog. Now less than a week later I have now lost my husband of 40 years. 

Please keep Kim, Scott and the girls in your prayers.
Peace be with you all


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Smith's Pleasant Valley Family Campground
16325 Co Rd 23        
Loudonville, Ohio 44842
(419) 994-4024

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