timberland shoes sale A husband’s dying wish
Jim Mininni and his wife, Cindy Ireland, both of Brockville, were transported on life support to the intensive care unit at Kingston General Hospital on Wednesday May 4 2016 be together in Jim’s last hours. Photo supplied by Chris Mininni. Submitted Photo /The Whig Standard/Postmedia Network”Jim Mininni and his wife, Cindy Ireland, both of Brockville, were transported on life support to the intensive care unit at Kingston General Hospital on Wednesday May 4 2016 be together in Jim’s last hours. Photo supplied by Chris Mininni. Submitted Photo /The Whig Standard/Postmedia Network
Jim Mininni’s last goodbye to his wife was quiet. Neither he or Cindy Ireland could speak she was sedated and unconscious and both were hooked up to life support in the ICU.
For a team of staff at Kingston General Hospital, the simple moment was worth moving mountains for. And it was but a moment.
The couple’s son, Chris, said that his parents’ story began 24 odd years ago.
Jim and Cindy had met in Toronto one night.
“I think at a party”, said Chris.
After casually dating for a while, Cindy had discovered that she was pregnant. In the ’90s, Chris explained, the idea of telling Jim was daunting for her.
“But my dad, he started crying, he was so happy. It was the best day of his life. That’s all he had ever wanted.” Cindy, he said, tells the story often.
From that day, the two started their lives together. According to Chris, his parents’ sarcastic humours were a perfect match, as were they, and they became “inseparable.”
She would tease him for talking too long on the phone. He lightened the mood every time they argued. They’d watch Maury together at 3 o’clock and then Jerry Springer at 11.
“They were happy,” Chris said.
Eight years ago, though, Jim was diagnosed with lung cancer. After a brutal fight, Jim beat the disease, but his cancer never stayed in remission. Jim would be diagnosed with the deadly disease three times and, four years ago, he was given a 10% survival rate. He underwent roughly 30 sessions of chemotherapy and 45 radiation treatments.
In the week before the last day of his life, Jim was admitted to KGH and placed in the intensive care unit. A prescription checkup had raised serious concerns about his breathing. A day after Jim was admitted to the ICU, Cindy suffered a heart attack and lung infection. She was quickly admitted to the hospital in Brockville.
“For about four or five days, we were going back and forth [between the two cities],” their son said. The family spoke with social workers and doctors to try to arrange a transfer, to no avail.
“We tried our best to get her sent up to Kingston, but they denied us probably three times in a row, because she didn’t have a medical reason to.”
No one could figure out what was wrong with Jim. After his scheduled bronchoscopy was moved, and with Cindy stable in Brockville, Chris headed home for the night. In the morning, he set out to pay his parents’ rent, and found his entire family outside.
After Chris had left KGH the previous night, a large tumor was found blocking Jim’s airway. There was no longer anything doctors could do, he was told. Dr. Christopher Parker, Jim’s doctor throughout his entire treatment, had stepped in and arranged for Cindy to be transferred that day.
From that point onward, Chris said, Dr. Parker was a godsend.
“I can’t say enough about KGH, Dr. Parker, the whole staff . Me and my brother want to go and shake his hand.”
Dr. Parker explained to Chris and his brother that the doctors could wake Jim up, explain what was happening, and assure him that Cindy was there.
“When my dad found out that he was going, he was stiff faced and shook his head. But when he found out that my mom was in the next room in the ICU, he started bawling,” Chris said.
Jim could not speak, but could communicate with his family with a pencil and paper. Because of the high levels of carbon dioxide in Jim’s system, though, he was shaky and aggressive.
“He was trying to write on this piece of paper and he would get “M O”, and he would get stuck. He couldn’t finish it, so we didn’t know what he was saying,” Chris said.
The brothers assumed their father was writing out the word ‘mouth’ because he hated tubes being in his throat. Eventually, Jim scrawled out the third letter, spelling out instead ‘mom’.
“So the doctors said, ‘do you want to see Cindy?’ and he started crying again. He was praying: yes, yes, please, please,” Chris said.
A team of doctors, nurses, and social workers sprung to work. They were “so focused,” Chris said, “because they knew that one wrong thing, and he was gone.”