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Max Ryan Perlman

1990 - 2013, Santa Barbara

Over the years my son Max has faced some major medical challenges, but he always managed to pull through. In fact his last two and three quarters years have been his best in terms of his health, energy and alertness. He had been doing so well that my awareness of Max's tenuous hold on life had receded in my mind. All this allowed Max to spend his time not in the hospital environment but in the 'regular' world we usually inhabit. Taking walks, playing, going on trips.

On June 21, 2013, Max suddenly experienced cardiac arrest and lost blood flow to his brain. He was in Fort Collins for a visit with Kim, his birth mom, while Lane, Lila and I visited her brother's family in the Washington DC area. Kim has had Max in visits like this several times before. She had aides for help and could call me with questions. Max was actually having a fun visit.

Then the unthinkable struck. He hadn't really shown advance warning, and as you know, Max with his cerebral palsy would not have the ability to say something like "I feel a tightening in my chest." Medics attempted to revive him with very limited success. He was put on life support in the intensive care unit at Poudre Valley Hospital. But tests showed that Max had been dealt a lethal blow. His brain functions were basically at zero. He was in a coma. He could no longer generate body heat and needed a warming blanket. Life support.

Arriving a quickly as we could from Washington DC, our family listened, asked questions and then talked together, and we saw no choice but to take Max off life support which we did on Sunday, June 23.

Those of you inclined to pray can wish Max well on his next journey. Others or even the prayer makers are also welcome to hoist high the alcoholic beverage of your choice in celebration of his life.

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