Parents Choose To End Life Support On Son’s 10th Birthday: “I Don’t Want To Be Selfish And He’s Tired”
After watching her son’s health slowly deteriorate over the past eight years, LaKesha Welch is making the difficult decision to disconnect Darian Jones from life support today on his 10th birthday.
Welch’s journey has been long and the choice wasn’t easy, but Darian, who was diagnosed with a rare and fatal cholesterol disease called Niemann Pick Disease Type C, came to his mother in a dream and told her it was time to let him go.
“I never thought I would do what I am about to do,” Welch said, days before Darian’s birthday. “I don’t want to be selfish and he’s tired. We decided that on his birthday, May 30th, that’s when we are going to do it.”
Darian was a healthy, sweet, and active child who could walk, talk, and spell his name. He laughed while watching his favorite show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and his favorite food was pancake on a stick. But that all changed at the age of two when Darian lost his ability to walk and began to show signs of neurological decline. Welch worked closely with Darian’s pediatrician, Dr. Susanne Tropez-Sims at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., to find out what was happening to her son.
“At that time it was a puzzle and no one knew,” Welch said. “They told me he would die and I would never know why.”