May 17, 2005
Leslie Burke's StoryTopics: News
Leslie Burke was born in Lancaster, the oldest in a family of five. He was pretty normal when he was growing up--but had the hardest time balancing. This was the only indication that things were not quite right.
In 1983 he was working as a postman when his employer asked him to get a physical. He was diagnosed with Cerebellar Ataxia. Their is nothing that you can do about this disease, and he was told that he would not see his 40'th birthday--he did, four years ago. The only thing that you can do is to just get on with life.
He did this, and has got a lot done since the doctor's diagnosis 18 years ago. This condition gets worse and worse, and he is now in a wheelchair all the time. He was worried that when his condition has progressed,and he can no longer speak or eat by himself, the hospital would decide to remove his feeding tube, like they did with Tony Bland.
Last year, on July 30 2004 he won the court battle that said he must be given food since he wanted it to be continued. The hospital filed an appeal last September and the appeals court will hear them this coming Thursday (May 19) and come to a decision.
Cerebellar Ataxia does not affect one's mental ability--and he will mentally be completely there, it will only affect his physical abilities. He does not look forward at all to the prospect of slowly dying off because of starvation--even though the doctor's think it dignified.
Click here to go to his website, which has lots of more info on the case.
Posted by joshua at May 17, 2005 4:42 PM
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