A morning run by 75 recruits turns into horror: ‘It looked like an airplane wreck’
Rory O’Connor is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle. He was an avid runner – from youth to his senior year of high school. But he fell ill just as the end of his junior year was approaching, and he was forced to withdraw from school. O’Connor’s parents were determined to get him through high school, but the school had no place for his illness anymore.
His parents took him to one of the closest health facilities in the area, and that’s where Rory’s situation went from bad to worse. There he was admitted as a patient in severe pain, and the staff refused to let Rory leave the hospital when his pain became unbearable.
For three months his parents worked on saving his life – trying anything they could imagine, and nothing worked. They had to let Rory die.
Rory and his parents.
As the family was dealing with Rory’s end, the staff at the hospital realized that Rory’s death was a perfect opportunity to improve the quality of their other patients. Instead of just letting them stay in bed, they allowed Rory and his parents to take Rory’s place in the hospital’s fitness room, where Rory and his parents would exercise.
His father, Tom O’Connor, says that he has no complaints about how his son died.
“We did everything we could – not to improve their lifestyle, but to improve the quality. I couldn’t imagine a worse time for me to have gone to die in there – it looked like an airplane wreck – but I’ve never been so grateful to have lived as long as I have.
“The staff tried anything they could to improve Rory’s situation, even a couple times to the point of trying to kill their patient. But they wouldn’t let Rory die. They said, ‘He’s not going to die. Give him a couple days in bed and then you’ll find out what happens when he comes upstairs to check out.’ “
It’s now five months since Rory died, and