I found out this morning that Stephen Haywood, one of the subjects of the 2006 FFF documentary So Much So Fast, passed away on November 26 after a long battle with Lou Gherig’s disease. From the West City Films site:
“The last scenes in the film were filmed in July 2004. Since then, Stephen finished a beautiful renovation of the carriage house seen in the film. He took part in an experimental program using sensors implanted in his brain to control a computer cursor with his thoughts. He made significant contributions to the development of this remarkable technology, which may someday provide patients with degenerative diseases unprecedented ability to interact with the world.”
Stephen’s respirator detached accidentally in the night. After fighting to live that beautiful life, it is excruciating to me that he died from a mechanical malfunction. This was the second time this week I heard of such a tragic loss.
On Wednesday I found out that a dear friend of my ex-husband’s died in Germany on Tuesday from wounds suffered in Iraq. He was in a Humvee patrolling the outskirts of Baghdad. His truck was hit by a morter and he got schrapnel in his brain. He fought in the first Iraq conflict and rejoined the military to go back. He was 36.
I hate to sound preachy or cliched, but hearing things like this at this time of year make me so. It’s the holidays. Say I love you to your family and friends. Send a soldier a card or care package (no matter how you feel about the war). Donate to medical research and hunger relief. And remember that life is precious.