Randy is a 45-year-old divorced father of boys ages 12 and 14, who practices law in the Midwest, works out regularly and is in good health. He’s always impeccably dressed, prepared for court, and ready to take on every challenge that life presents.
Randy’s parents are both in their 70’s, generally in good health, and he has a brother and a sister nearby, each with families of their own.
While playing in a neighborhood basketball pickup game one evening, Randy’s neighbor Tom, a widower, collapsed while playing basketball. Upon arrival at the hospital, Tom was diagnosed with a massive hemorrhagic stroke and was immediately taken to surgery to relieve bleeding in his brain. His loved ones were told of the possibility that he would not regain basic functions like walking or talking. The days wore on and it was determined that Tom’s condition would not improve. Tom had never documented his wishes or had serious conversations with any of his loved ones about his intentions for such a situation. His boys were certainly too young to process that discussion. Family members, including his parents and his ex-wife’s parents, not only struggled but argued about what “Tom would want” and “what was best” and how to explain their decision to remove Tom from life support to his sons. The argument was so intense that at one point hospital security had to break up a near fistfight in the ICU family waiting room.
Watching Tom’s situation caused Randy to reflect on what would happen if he was never again able to communicate. He would not want to burden his sons, parents or siblings to make those heart-wrenching decisions about his future and whether he should be detached from medical technology and be allowed to die, or live in a nursing home with the hope that medical science or a miracle would change his situation. With Final Roadmap, Randy has documented his wishes and gained control. He faces every day with the confidence he has carried throughout his adult life.
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