My name is David Simpson this web page is dedicated to my 17 year old son who passed away on October 5, 1996 after a courageous battle with a form of cancer called "Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia".
December 10, 1993 a day I will never forget. My son was diagnosed with Leukemia. A form of cancer not known to us or his doctor at the time, until we had taken him to Children's Hospital , in Seattle, Washington. Once there Shaun was examined many times over. He had so many examinations and blood tests that I lost count. The tests results revealed that Shaun have a disease called, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia .
The news from his doctors that Shaun has been diagnosed with this disease was a serious blow to me and his Mother. The thought of our only child being taken from us at anytime was really hard to swallow. However, we continued Praying , hoping that God would hear our call for help.
To get the cancer under control, Shaun stayed at Children's until the disease was in remission. The first setback we experienced was when Shaun did not go into remission with the first round of treatment. A contributing factor was due to Shaun having a high (WBC) White Blood Cell count of 480,000,a platelet count of 5,000, and a hemoglobin of 4, when he was admitted.
However, against those odds on March 3, 1994 Shaun achieved his first remission. The news was a great milestone for us, but we were by no means out of the woods.
Shaun was still in remission until March 13, 1996, when everything went wrong the cancer came back. Shaun had relapsed for the second time. He had to stay in the hospital again, for several weeks, until the doctors at Children's and God got the cancer in remission yet a second time.
Shaun's doctors told us that the cancer could come back at anytime and they recommended that we consider a Bone Marrow Transplant . This recommendation was the most frightening thing that we, as parents, had every faced during the whole experience with Shaun fighting this disease.
As we prepared for the bone marrow transplant, on June 21, 1996, Shaun relapsed for the third time. This time more quickly than the second time National Cancer Institute , With no options, the treatment plan was to get Shaun into remission and to transplant as soon as possible. God must have heard our prayers on July 17, 1996 Shaun achieved his third remission.
July 26, 1996 Shaun was admitted to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Swedish Hospital to have a bone marrow transplant. On August 2,1996 Shaun went to Bone Marrow Transplant with me as his only available donor National Bone Marrow Program's Registry . We looked all over the world to find a better match for Shaun, but with no success. I preferred not to be used, because Shaun and I were not a perfect match, but this was the only option God had given us.
On August 30, 1996 we was told by Shaun's doctors at Fred Hutchinson/Swedish that the bone marrow transplant had engrafted. A very happy moment for Shaun, his mother and I. Shaun even got to go home for a short time (12 hours), before having to report back to Fred Hutchinson/Swedish hospital, to be entered into their after transplant program.
Shaun didn't get to enjoy that freedom long. Yet another set back, on the early morning of August 31, 1996, I received a call from the clinical nurse from Swedish, she informed me that Shaun needed to return to the hospital as soon as possible. One of Shaun's blood tests that he had taken before he was discharged on the 30th, had came back positive. Shaun was later re-admitted with an infection called "Gram-negative".
Shaun was doing fine. The gram negative infection treatment was going well. He had no other visible medical problems, until his doctors ordered an Endoscopy Biopsy, on September 6, 1996. The tests revealed that Shaun's small and large intestines was damage, due partly to a disease called Graft Versus Host Disease .
Complication from this disease put Shaun at a higher risk for infections. We where informed later, that Shaun indeed, had several infections. One being "Candida Sepsis", a fungal infection which had infected his blood stream. Shaun's immune system was so low, that there was nothing they could used to stop the process.
Shaunís doctors informed his mother and I, at 12:45p.m., on October 4, that there was nothing else medically they could do for him. This was heart breaking news, yet we thought other wise. During this period and the time of Shaunís passing at 4:10a.m on the morning of October 5, Shaun in his on way had said his good-byes to his mother and I.
I wanted him to go home, yet I want him to stay, however; I didnít want him to suffer any farther. I left the hospital room for a minute, as I was leaving I could hear Shaunís mother telling him to go home. As I came back into the room, Shaun had focus his eyes on me, he then looked back at his mother, and then went home to God. Poems .
Shaun was well involved in his community. He was a Honor Society member, active church member, former Scout, JV tennis player and member of the school's marching band and jazz band.
Being a member of an elite jazz band is something that requires, as most people know, not just skill but true hard work and devotion. Shaun took things a step beyond even that, not just playing his alto sax but also singing with marelous presence and joy in front of the band. Grief and Loss Resource Center .
The local newspaper "The Everett Herald" quoted one of Shaun's teachers, Mr. Gary Evans, band director for Everett High as saying of Shaun, "He is one of those really rare, outward-directed children." In illness, said Evans, he put aside what must have been pain and spoke in upbeat fashion. He was "a friend to bunches and bunches of kids." "Shaun is going to be in everyone's heart, because that is where he touched everyone", Evans said.
"In the loss of every young life, the community loses vast potential and a precious individual. Shaun Simpson's achievements, in a short life, speak plainly and eloquently of that fact, and of the inspiration and solace he leaves to others".
- The Everett Herald
This web page is also dedicated to the family members and friends who proceded Shaun in death.
Send your emails to:David Simpson, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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