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Tag Archives: karen irwin

My Last Gift

Johnny3by Karen Irwin, CKN Project Co-ordinator, Caregiver

He has reached the point where he can no longer move.  No speaking.  No swallowing.  No eating.  No blinking.  He is trapped in a world where his mind is alive but his body is shutting down.  He must know what’s happening but who’s going to be the one to broach the subject of death?  After all, he’s only 7 years old.


The nightmare began almost 6 years earlier.  My world had crumbled around me as a neurologist walked into our hospital room and announced he had very bad news:  my 21 month old son Johnny had a brain tumour the size of a small orange.  I had expected this terrible news because an hour earlier I had been in the room during his CT scan.  The young technicians were friendly and we chatted effortlessly while we laid his little sleeping body on the table.  Then, suddenly, I felt the air in the room change as they took their first glance at the computer screen.  The technicians, who just a moment ago were chatting with me, were no longer able to look me in the eye.  So I knew what the neurologist was going to say and I felt my breath being slowly sucked out of me.

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