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Jill Elizabeth Ballas
August 7, 1964 - April 30, 2005

Jill was diagnosed with colon cancer in August 2004. A colostomy was performed. She was reconnected about 3 months later. We were encouraged that no other cancer had been detected. She under went chemo and then radiation. Things were fine after reconnection. Several months after the chemo and radiation had begun, she began having loud stomach growls was not eliminating food well and her stomach was visibly distended. She weighed slightly over 100lbs. We were told that the radiation may have damaged her intestine but that in time it would heal. About late February 2005, she was taken off solid food and fed via IV. After a few weeks she began feeling ill and they removed the IV bag. They said it was damaging her liver. She was sent home and told to eat small amounts frequently. She was delighted. The first morning it seemed to work effectively, by late in the day she was again having loud growling sounds food was trapped and she began vomiting. She went back to the hospital on Monday. On Wednesday she went to surgery to see if they could open up the blocked area. However they told us that the radiation had caused a fusing of the bowel and they could not separated the fused area. They rerouted the intestine and attached to her bowel from a different location. The surgeon met with us and thought the surgery was successful. On Thursday she developed an infection and we were told it was NF and they did not think she would survive. I was advised to allow them to discontinue the blood pressure meds and she would then go into cardiac arrest. They stopped the meds and her blood pressure though low seemed to stabilize. Her heart rate was strong and she was still on the ventilator. At about 2pm, they asked for consent to disconnect the ventilator. She began breathing on her own un till 8:30pm when she expired. I was devastated not only about loosing Jill but about consenting to these measures with such a strong heart and decent blood pressure. However they had removed so much skin that when the NF spread they gave up and said there was nothing else they could, no more cutting. She was 40 years old.

Albert Ballas

July 2005

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July 25, 2005