Friend of the Family

A friend of the family died today.  Or at least I found out about it today. David Sonnett was the same age as my sisters.  My sister Andrea was his date to prom.  I never actually met David but I have thought about him on many occasions. When he was in the third grade David had an aneurysm in his brain.  It affected him severely both mentally and physically.  He became wheelchair bound and unable to fully control his muscles effectively.  His speech was severely degraded and he had to use a voice box similar to Stephen Hawking's.

My mother was part of an education program at the high school for people with special needs. She would tell me stories about the kids in the program. That is when I would spend time pondering David's situation.  I would try to think of ways to improve his quality of life. My personality lead me to think of ways where he can enable himself.  I tried to imagine how devices could be constructed to allow him to be more mobile or communicate more easily. Devices and technologies cost money so I never got very far with my ideas.  I think that my sister was far more effective in improving his quality of life by just being his friend.

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