Terry Marshall, who was fifty-three years old, had surgery on December 3, 2003, at Fleming County Hospital, in Flemingsburg, Kentucky. The surgery was to remove scar tissue which had resulted from numerous prior surgeries. Following the surgery, he lost a lot of blood and required many blood transfusions.
During the surgery, Terry’s small intestine was cut, causing his bowel to move to his stomach and as a result, Terry got a septic infection. On December 12, Terry required a second operation, at which time he was put on life support. During this surgery, Terry had a feeding tube inserted, but had other problems with his bowels. Further, he had some some surgical procedures performed on his stomach. All of this left Terry with further complications and health issues.
After one month at Fleming, they said that there was nothing more that they could do for Terry. He was transferred to another hospital in Maysville, KY for the following two months. Due to the sepsis and the medications that Terry was on, he had to have his toes amputated; the blood flow was being cut off from his feet. After a little over two months, Terry’s insurance ran out and he was discharged.
However, on March 5, 2004, Terry was admitted back into the hospital and almost every week thereafter, he was back in the hospital.
Finally, on May 24, Terry was air lifted to University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, KY when he had gotten so ill, and finally, Barbara was told that he had ARDS.
Barbara learned that the feeding tube that had previously been placed was not feeding Terry and he was starving. For the last six months, he had no nourishment, except through his veins. For the next five weeks, Barbara had to watch him die a little bit at a time and there was nothing that the doctors could do for her husband.
Finally, on July 14, 2004, because Terry had ARDS and because he could not be fed which would allow him to build himself up to fight the syndrome, the physicians told Barbara that it was their opinion that Terry should be removed from life support. After spending five months on life support, Terry had lost so much weight that he only weighed seventy-five pounds. Terry never woke up again.
On July 17, 2004, with thirty-five members of Barbara and Terry’s family surrounding Terry by his bedside, Terry Marshall was removed from life support. Terry lives for one hour and thirty-five minutes. After twenty-seven years of marriage, Barbara said good-bye to Terry. Barbara said, “He was ready to go home and meet G-d. Through the eight months that I sat by his bedside, I prayed so many prayers. I am thankful that some do come through ARDS. Families should thank G-d every day that their loved one is still with them and they don’t have to see them suffer as I did with Terry.”