Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Devlin’

Patrick Devlin

I have written on occasion here about how CaringBridge brought important news about my nephew Patrick Devlin when he was battling leukemia in 2009 and after he died. I mentioned in my eulogy for Patrick that he was working on his deathbed to finish his Eagle Scout project.

Well, this morning, CaringBridge brought the news that Patrick’s Eagle project is finished. It moistened my cheeks. I share it because many readers of this blog expressed appreciation that I shared Patrick’s story, even though it strayed from the usual topics of my blog.

Here’s a passage from John’s latest CaringBridge update, shared with his permission:

Last Saturday we finally fulfilled his Eagle Scout service project plan, and the story is an interesting one. His plan was to make portable dimming light fixtures available to families spending time in the hospital on Baird Five here in Burlington (the Pediatric in-patient ward). Long time readers will remember that one of the first things I did when Pat was admitted to the hospital was to go to Home Depot and buy a clip light and dimmer so we could set up nicer light and read when it was dark and Pat was sleeping without turning on the fluorescent overhead lights or sitting in the dark for hours. Well, he was planning this project with his Eagle mentor when he died. I picked it up and tried a couple of approaches to realize the idea, beginning with identifying the hospital’s requirements for lights in the rooms. These requirements limited what we could do, and ruled out the system our family had used. (more…)


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Update, December 18: Kat started high school this fall and is doing well.

Update: We visited Kat in the hospital yesterday and today. Her recovery is going well. She will be in the hospital a few more weeks, then will be an outpatient staying at the Ronald McDonald House another week or two, then return home to Vermont. She still has months of outpatient treatment and isolation in Vermont after she gets home. But she’s on schedule and heading in the right direction.

Update: Kat’s transplant went well and she is having a good day and playing with Legos at the hospital.

I may have to eat at McDonald’s a time or two during this weekend’s trip to Boston.

Kat Devlin

I’m not a fan of fast-food, and the most ubiquitous fast-food restaurant chain is perhaps my least-favorite of that genre. Actually, I do like their fries and breakfast sandwiches, but the doctor did say I needed to lose some weight. But I’ve always admired that company’s most prominent charitable cause. The Ronald McDonald House has helped my sister’s family immeasurably. I wrote several blog posts in 2009 relating to the illness and death of my nephew Patrick Devlin. His eulogy still gets occasional traffic, which gives me a little comfort. (more…)

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Reviewing 2009 on my blog (mostly for my own information, but I share it because that’s what bloggers do):

My most popular post by far (more than twice as many views as anything else) was my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection, posted April 27. I proposed a detailed new business model for community news organizations. It received more links from other blogs and more tweets than anything else I’ve written this year. And interest in C3 remains strong. (After traffic on that post declined from June through September, it increased in October and November. December didn’t quite match November, but exceeded August, September and October). C3 gets more attention in a slow month than my average post gets total.

Everyone wants a blog post to go viral, but I’m glad I didn’t write something quirky that went off the charts. C3 was one of the most important things I’ve written this year (or in my career), so I’m pleased that it received more attention than any other post. I’ve been invited to make presentations dealing with C3 in Florida, Nevada, California, Texas, Siberia and Canada. I hope in 2010 to be writing about how Gazette Communications and other organizations are carrying out the vision of C3.


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I don’t engage in a lot of Twitter memes. But I gladly joined the #beatcancer meme today.

As a two-time cancer survivor (colon in 1999, basal cell in 2005), I know that cancer is not a sure death sentence. But I also visited my father three weeks before his death from prostate cancer in 1978 and visited my nephew, Patrick Devlin, four days before his death from leukemia last month. The enduring memory of Dad’s death and the fresh memory of Patrick’s underscore for me that every time someone can #beatcancer, I should join the celebration. (more…)

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BrotherhoodThanks to all who have expressed sympathy — here in the blog and by email and through Facebook and Twitter — for my family’s loss in last week’s death of my 16-year-old nephew Patrick. Given the interest, I am sharing, with permission, an email and photograph from one of Patrick’s Scout leaders, Clint Buxton. He wrote about the ceremony Saturday night, hours after Patrick’s funeral, where members of the Order of the Arrow were honored for reaching the Brotherhood level:

I wanted to write you … to share with you and your family the story of the start of a healing process, which began for me late last evening deep in the hills of our beloved Green Mountains. (more…)

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Patrick OAI was honored to be asked by Patrick Devlin’s parents to deliver the eulogy at Patrick’s funeral today. I have written before here about Patrick’s struggle with leukemia and his father’s use of CaringBridge to share the struggle with family, friends and caring strangers around the world.

I am Steve Buttry, Patrick’s uncle and godfather. I welcome you on behalf of Carol, John and Kathryn. They appreciate your love and support, not just today but for the past nine months, more than we can say. I welcome you also on behalf of the extended Devlin and Buttry families gathered here today, including his grandparents, Jim and Mary Gene Devlin. And I welcome you on behalf of family who could not join us here, particularly my mother, Patrick’s grandmother, Harriet Buttry, who desperately wanted to be here to honor her grandson and comfort her daughter. Unfortunately, Mom’s health does not permit such travel. Your presence today and throughout Patrick’s struggle and your presence in his life provided strength and comfort for this family and we thank you from the bottom of our broken hearts. (more…)

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Some people who don’t use social media see it aPatrick Devlins self-indulgent and trivial.

They haven’t experienced the way that people have reached out through Twitter, Facebook and blogs to comfort my family after the death Wednesday of my nephew Patrick. They haven’t experienced how his father, John, shared the story of Patrick’s final months on CaringBridge with hundreds of friends, family and caring people he’d never met.

Social media are just communication tools. They aren’t inherently good or bad, frivolous or serious. When my father, Patrick’s grandfather, battled prostate cancer 31 years ago, people used the communication tools of the day – telephones, greeting cards and stationery – to express their support and encouragement during the fight and their sympathy after it ended. Generations before that used telegraph, quill pens and other tools. (more…)

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