In the spring of 2012, I was meeting with an old friend/colleague, Art, at his Capitol Hill office in Washington, DC. As we were making our way back from London to California, I was excited to introduce him to my twin boys (then 7 years old). I was stunned and irritated when I arrived at the office and learned that Art was not coming into work that day. So, I just carried on with my boys and another congressional staffer, who took us on a tour of the Capitol and the floor of the House of Representatives – a very cool experience for my boys.
When I got back to California, I called up my friend, and asked, “What the heck… where were you?” My friend responded in tears and said, “Deborah, it is Art Jr… he is not okay.” Art Jr. is the son of my friend and was soon to celebrate his one-year-old birthday.
I said, “What do you mean… what is going on?”
He responded, “Olga [his wife] was feeding Art Jr. one day, and his head just fell into his chest, and she couldn’t get him to hold his head up.”
It was from that day forward that my friend, his wife, and their sweet little boy would never be the same.
Doctors could not diagnosed Art Jr.’s debilitating illness for months and things declined quickly. Not only was it becoming apparent that Art Jr. no longer had any muscular control, it was starting to affect his vital organs, such as his lungs. Art Jr. would no longer be able to breathe on his own.