Losing someone we love is one of the most challenging things we’ll ever face.
Danielle Gibson experienced this when she lost her husband on January 30, 2019. The 33-year-old mother of four from Lebanon, Tennessee, stood by Tony, the love of her life and father of her children, as he experienced a bewildering year of poor health. Before he passed away, she was able to sing to him one last time.
It was in December of 2017 that Tony suddenly began experiencing rapid memory loss.
“He would get so confused I would have to label the rooms in our home,” Danielle wrote.
For months they had no idea what was causing it, but his memory continued to deteriorate. Finally, after a month of testing, they received a diagnosis from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. In May of 2018, six long months after the onset of symptoms, Tony was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Commonly referred to as the human form of mad cow disease, the disease is very rare. It occurs after a person comes in contact with or eats infected meat. There is no cure.
Unfortunately, most people die within a year of getting the disease.
Danielle cared for her husband on her own as long as she could. Eventually, she put him in a nursing home so he could receive continuous care.
Three days before he died, she sang “Amazing Grace” to him. It was his favorite song, and he seemed to recognize it. He looked over at her while she sang as if to tell her he was listening.
After the video of Danielle singing “Amazing Grace” was uploaded to Facebook, she and her family were flooded with support and kind words. Not only did people comment but they started donating to a GoFundMe that had been set up to help the family.
Tony has passed away, but Danielle cherishes the memories she has of him and tries to remain strong.
“Tony has always been so strong,” she said. “He fought a damn good fight. Our hearts are broken but we take comfort in knowing this fight is over.”
This story originally appeared at Goodfullness.
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