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Christopher Court

The final hours

On the morning of October 27th, the hospice nurse said that she thought that day might well be the day that Chris would give up the fight and that she thought he might be holding on to hear from someone or for something to be finished.  There were two people that Chris held very dear that had not said goodbye and they were both in England; his grandmother, and his beloved brother Jamie.  Skype calls were arranged to both using the iPad and both talked to Chris and said goodbye.  The only other unfinished thing anyone could think of was the book Chris' dad had been reading to him, so that too was completed.

His parents knelt beside him and told him that it would be OK for him to go and that they would be OK - he was always more concerned with other peoples happiness than his own.

As the day progressed his breathing became more and more erratic and there would be long periods where he would stop breathing completely.

In the late afternoon, Chris' aunt Terry called his parents into the room saying that she thought the time had come.  He had not taken a breath for several minutes.  His parents placed their hands on his chest and could feel his heart slowing until finally it stopped.  They stepped out of the room to tell everyone he had passed, and family and friends who were present started making phone calls.  

Several minutes after Chris' heart stopped, he suddenly took a huge breath and his heart restarted.  His breathing was more of a spasm, but it was enough to get oxygen into his blood.  It may be that this was just a reflex action from his body, or it may just be that he was not ready to go.  The hospice nurse arrived and recommended that Chris' parents leave the room in case hearing their voices was causing him to hang on.  It is impossible to find the words to describe the pain and feelings of helplessness everyone was experiencing.

Around two hours after Chris' heart first stopped, he took his last breath.  His suffering was over and the world lost an amazing young man.

The funeral home was called and they came to collect Chris.  He was to be taken down to CHOP one last time to have the tumors removed for research and for his corneas to be donated for transplant.

The funeral was held one week later at Saint Agnes church in Sellersville.  The church was full.  Chris' brother and grandmother came from England and family and friends from all over the US were there.  The scouts provided an honor guard, Chris' second grade class mates all attended and sang.  The bearers were four members of his Karate school dressed in their Karate uniforms and Chris' uncles Jim and Ken.