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John Clark

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December 28th, 2016, my heart was crushed into pieces. It was supposed to be a normal day. My dad and I had planned to go to Ikea and go out to lunch. I was just waking up when he texted me asking him to please come here. I got frustrated because I was still half asleep but as I was walking to my parents’ room I knew something was wrong. It was just a gut feeling. I walked in the room and my dad was leaned over and looked very pale. Something wasn’t right.

He kept telling me he had cramps, the worst ones he had every felt. He also said he was feeling hot and light headed. I checked his temperature and he had a fever. I got him some water and got him to sit back for a little. He then tried to get up and use the bathroom and he just couldn’t. He could not even stand up without feeling dizzy. He was talking to me but the words he was saying were not making sense. They were slurred and all of a sudden he started talking to me and getting confused as he was talking. He was getting frustrated with himself because he simply could not get the words out but he knew what he wanted to say. After telling me repeatedly not to call my mom or 911. I told him I was going to call 911 and he then told me I should.

I knew this was not going to be good. He would never tell me to call 911 unless he knew something was up. His blood pressure was very low and they thought it may have been because his sugar got too high. They put him in the ambulance and my mom got home just in time. They said he was stable and that they were taking him to Anne Arundel Hospital. We had never been there before, so we did not know what to expect. I was supposed to ride in the ambulance with him but they took off in the ambulance before telling me what was going on. My mom and I got in the car and followed the ambulance there. We got there and my dad kept complaining about being thirsty and his back throbbing. We readjusted the pillows and everything multiple times and he could not get comfortable. He begged and begged for something to drink or a mint. But the doctors said no in case he had to have a test. This broke my heart to not be able to get him one because I just wanted to make him feel better.

Around 5 is when my world collapsed. My mom left the room to call a coworker and I was left in the room with my dad. I thank God for this moment everyday. His nickname for me was “Pump”. He said I am so proud of you Pump. Thank you for being there for me today, I love you so much”. I did not know these would be the last words I heard my best friend, partner in crime, and father say to me. He then went into cardiac arrest, this moment is crystal clear in my mind. I absolutely hate the thought of it. The nurses came in and worked and worked and worked, my daddy was a fighter. He fought and fought and fought. One of his nurses came up to me and told me that he was the strongest patient she had, and that he was such a brave fighter throughout the whole day. She told me with tears running down her face. I could tell this had an effect on her. About 15 minutes later, I was told my father had took a turn for the worst. My mom and I had to say our goodbyes. Heaven had gained an angel.

I just want to thank the Anne Arundel Hospital for all they did for my dad. The staff was absolutely wonderful. My dad was a lucky man to have great people there taking care of him. They mean so much to my mom and I. Thank you for all those who have been there for my mom since day 1. We appreciate everything and we love you all from the bottom of our hearts. My dad was a giving man. He always gave to others even when he did not have a lot to give. His strength and his heart inspires me everyday. I vow to honor his legacy by giving back to those in need and staying strong even when things get hard. I have the best father in the world. I am so blessed. And cannot wait to see him again. My dad passed away from sepsis. This is a body’s toxic response to an infection. It can be as small as a sinus infection or strep throat and you can get sepsis if not properly treated. This illness can effect anyone of all ages. I want my family and friends to be aware, so that no one else around me loses a relative, friend, etc to this awful illness.

Almost 4 years later, and my heart still hurts. My dad has missed my college graduation, and will not be able to walk me down the aisle at my wedding or meet my future kids and will miss out on many other things because of this awful illness. My dad will always be my hero. Sepsis took my dad away from me, but his legacy will continue to live on forever. I love you Daddy. Until we meet again.

Source: Melissa Clark, daughter

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