A.S. Face 0520: Johnny Whitaker Sr.
My father Johnny Whitaker, was not diagnosised with AS until the age of 45. My that point in time, it was too late for most treatments. My father never complained to anyone about his pain. He was a real fighter! As the disease progressed my father could not walk without using crutches. He could no longer lay down in bed and spent the last few years of his life sleeping in a recliner. My mother could not stand dad being so far from her at night, so she slept in a recliner next to dad. When my fathers health declined even further, he ended up in the hospital for 30 days. He needed a quadruple bypass, but because of the AS, doctors knew he could never live through recovery. He ended up having stents put in and a pacemaker, all while in a sitting position. The doctor was so amazed that he successfully put in a pacemaker in a patient who was sitting up!! That was my dad..a groundbreaker!! My father passed away at the age of 63 in 2008. He was my best friend and I still cry when I think of him. But knowing he is no longer in pain, brings me a strange comfort. For I know I will see him again one day.
Michigan United States of America