RIP “Barry the Blade”

It was with great sadness that I learned that one of our favorite listeners passed away today. Barry Bender, AKA “Barry the Blade” was on our September 19th “Weird Medicine” show and was going to do an ongoing series about Trucker Hygiene for the show. Here’s a copy of the note his wife sent to me:

Hi Dr Steve

I know you don’t know me, but I am BarryTheBlade’s wife. Remember him, the trucker poop guy?

I know he informed you that he was feeling really sick via email. He came home a week ago and I brought him straight to the ER.

They landed up admitting him and on the 6th he was brought to the ICU/CCU and was put on a respirator. He had a feeding tube, Respirator, ,the works. I was with him all the time almost, barely left his side except to sleep and be home with the kids in the afternoons.

On Friday morning he was released to a regular room. I went to see him yesterday morning and we visited for almost an hour. He ate breakfast, We joked around, talked etc. Yesterday was actually our daughter’s 7th birthday party, so I was only there for a short time before I was supposed to leave.

Around 10:30 or so, Barry was asked to get up by the physical therapists so he could try go to the bathroom and they could remove his foley catheter. As soon as he got up, he almost started to seize and collapsed. He couldn’t breathe and they couldn’t get him to calm down. They got him back in the bed, and I was there rubbing his leg and holding his hand trying to tell him to calm down. But he kept saying “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, why can’t I breathe”.

They asked me to leave at this point, and then they called a code blue. I ran screaming down the hallway and yelling at the nurses and doctors to let me in the room. They worked on him for almost an hour doing CPR and all that stuff when we decided to stop. They shocked him as well, but could not get a heart rhythm.

At this point, I was at his side again, holding his hand and telling him how much I loved him, how much of a good father he was, how much of a good husband. The doctor was beside me, hugging me and then he told me they could put him on life support, but that he would never wake up. I know he wouldn’t want that, so I gave them the ok to stop the CPR.

I was so thankful to be able to be with him in his final moments, and that we had that nice visit yesterday morning. I said my private goodbyes. I don’t remember saying I love you to him while he was Awake, but his nurse told me that she heard us say it. I am so thankful that we had that, and that I said it to him. I got to look him in the eyes too as he was having trouble breathing.

They found out he had pneumonia in two spots on his lungs (this was while he was in the CCU), but they think he had a massive pulmonary embolism when he got out of bed yesterday morning. I won’t find out for sure until I get the autopsy results.

Please keep me and the kids in your thoughts. Feel free to pass this along to anyone. I am just broken inside. Trying to keep it together for our kids, but just feeling terrible myself. We were to have our 10
Year anniversary this December, and we have 4 children. The oldest two are almost 9, then we have a 7 year old and a 3.5 year old. We are only 29 years old. I’m not supposed to be a widow at 29, those kind of things Just don’t happen. I am absolutely devastated.

Also, not sure if this is ok to mention, but my oldest friend Larina Dyck has set up a donation fund for us to help us get through these tough times. Her twitter is @littlespace and her blog is http://gottalittlespacetofill.blogspot.com

Thanks for being such a good online friend to Barry. I know he talked of you often and was always happy to see an email.

Guess I might have to listen to you on the air once in awhile to see what I’ve been missing.

Joanna

Let’s visit @littlespace and get a fund going for Barry’s kids, ok?

your pal,

Steve

Weird Medicine Addendum with Doctor Steve

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