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Odler Robert Jeanlouie, MD


When the orthopedist asked Lolo to sign a living will before his surgery, the 6'9" self-described basket player could not hold a laughing burst.  It was not even a 'real surgery'. The arthroscopic nature of the operation indicated that the joint would not be open, only a tube will be placed in it.  The chances for complications were quasi-nil.  Lolo is only 45. He adores his three kids.  He believes he was born to be a Nicks Star but opportunity never knocked.  So, he ended up as a physical education director at a nearby high school, swearing to himself and to the whole world that that Dante, his last child and only boy, would be the next Michael Jordan (minus the earing, Lolo despising earrings on men).  His wife works in our Intensive Care Unit. So over the years, everyone has gotten to know Lolo.  He never stopped joking and he is the best political gossiper.  If you want to know who the third member of the city council was dating right after he divorce his wife of 17 years, Lolo knows the answer.  Strange hobby, indeed!  So, Lolo got into the OR, after making a phone call to a buddy reminding him to tape the evening derby, so he can watch it when he gets out of the hospital.  At first, everything went quite well under light anesthesia. Then, suddenly Lolo's blood pressure dropped.  Safely, the anesthesiologist placed a tube in his trachea and connected him to a breathing machine. The surgery ended uneventfully.  In the recovery room, Lolo became inexplicably agitated. He violently pulled the tube from his throat, his respiration stopped, his pulsed fainted to un-palpable.  A code blue was called.  Lolo was resuscitated, but for twenty minutes he did not have any spontaneous circulation.  Too long for his brain cells.  This happened last week. Today, Lolo is in our unit, on too many drips, attached to too many monitors, maintained by too many machines. He is brain dead.  No one can let go, because Lolo's death, a consequence of a casual arthroscopy, does not sink in as a viable epilogue for this story...  (OdlerRobert Jeanlouie, Sunday, April 30, 2000)

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