Remembering Paul

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The Story of Paul’s Final Time

Paul J. Jablonski
March 20, 1962 – October 1, 2006

Paul had not been feeling well for several weeks. On September 6th he went to a concert with some friends. Afterwards, he was having difficulty breathing and drove himself to the emergency room at St. Mary’s on the Lake hospital. His sister Chris, a Registered Nurse, came to the hospital at his request.

At first it was thought Paul had a heart problem, then pneumonia. After several hours, to ease his breathing, he authorized being sedated and put on a ventilator. He designated his sister as his medical representative and advocate. He asked that his medical information be kept private – a decision we realize was difficult for many of you to bear – but we wanted to respect Paul’s wishes.

Within a few hours Paul’s condition rapidly became more serious and he was placed on full life support. A number of tests were performed over the course of several days. The illness was not due to the recent e-coli outbreak. A virus was suspected but all the tests (for virus, germs, and fungi) were negative. Nonetheless, Paul was treated for every known virus, germ, and fungus.

The doctors and nurses who treated Paul said that what happened to him was unusual and seen only infrequently. They don’t know why some people have this overwhelming response to what appeared to be some kind of infection. In Paul’s case, he suffered Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and a Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS). His lungs were severely damaged which, in turn, led to a gradual decline of his other major organs. Despite aggressive life support and his youth and great physical strength, Paul was unable to recover from the severe physical damage his system endured.

Paul was sedated and received full medical support throughout his illness. He did not suffer pain or discomfort; he was not in distress and died peacefully around 4pm on October 1 with his family and a few close friends right next to him holding his hands. During his illness, we thought at times that he could hear us. We told him of the love and support, and prayers of his friends who sent cards, visited with us in the waiting room, and called. Thank you all. Your love and concern for Paul was something he was aware of till the end. We, his family, feel deeply touched and comforted by it as well.

by: Judith Jablonski (on behalf of the family)

This photo was taken within the last few years . Paul was cooking at the long kitchen counter in Marion/Mom's house.

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