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Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Alzheimer’s—A Sad Journey Ends Tragically

Man, 75, kills ailing wife, then himself, inside hospital.

The local news aired this shocking story today.

A man and woman’s 52-year marriage ended tragically last night when Mr. Riddle, 75, shot and killed his wife, Shirley, in an intensive care unit of the UPMC Hospital in Cranberry Township, Venango County.

Shirley, 74, had Alzheimer’s disease and according to their daughter, Mr. Riddle had taken care of her at home until five days ago when she fell, injured herself, and was admitted to the hospital for surgery.

According to state police, Mr. Riddle walked into UPMC yesterday, killed his wife with a revolver and turned the gun on himself. He left a note at their home stating that he could no longer permit his wife to suffer.

The complete story is online at the The Post Gazette.

This is just so sad.

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Blogger ~Betsy said...

I don't think many people understand the enormity of this disease. Most think it's just a forgetful old woman or man. It breaks my heart. This article was well written - it's clear to me the author has some awareness of AD. Thanks for sharing it.

12/29/2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger nancy said...

as i replied to betsy's post this exact thing happened about 1 year ago in a milwaukee area hospice. i think it shows the devastation AD has on families. unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. i pray for the family.

12/29/2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

I think you're right, Betsy. People don't understand how devastating this disease is on the AD patient and the person taking care of them. I agree - it did sound as if the writer was familiar with the disease.

Nancy, That's a shame about what happened in Milwakee, too. I'm sure there are many incidents like this. There really needs to be more awareness of AD and all the horrible ramifications that come with it.

12/29/2007 4:07 PM  
Blogger cornbread hell said...

that's a brave man in my opinion. i pray for the family left behind to understand his actions and that they find peace in the aftermath. i light a candle for them, the ones left behind.

it's not only AD that creates scenarios like the one described here. the late stages of cancer, parkinsons, and many many more diseases that can befall us are potentially just as horrid.

i don't know about you, but i'm counting my blessings right now. i may be teary-eyed, but watching this flame as it flickers is somehow soothing.

peace to you and yours. peace and understanding to the families.

12/29/2007 7:10 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Rick, I know exactly what you mean about being teary-eyed and watching the flame flicker. Watching our loved ones decline is very difficult each day, but I can't imagine not being here for Mom every day to help her through. It soothes my soul to know that I'm doing and saying everything I should when she needs me the most.

Candles lit for all in the world who are dealing with any type of heartaches tonight and always.

12/29/2007 7:31 PM  
Blogger rainbowheart said...

this is just so sad....

12/29/2007 7:54 PM  
Blogger Lori1955 said...

As sad as it is, I understand it. Watching someone die a little at a time is so very hard. Wanted his wife to be out of this misery and wanting to go with her makes a lot of sense to me.

12/29/2007 8:39 PM  
Blogger steflovesnonna said...

That is really sad. :(

ps I AM GLAD we are yahoo buddies now!

12/29/2007 8:59 PM  
Blogger Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Yes Gale and Stef, it is sad. Glad we're Yahoo buddies, too, Stef. ;)

Lori, I understand it too. As husband and wife I can certainly understand not wanting a spouse to suffer and not wanting to live without the other. Bless their hearts and their souls.

12/29/2007 9:18 PM