James Julius (JJ) Sampson was the smaller of premature twin boys, so he had a lot going against him from the start. Turns out JJ really got the fuzzy end of the lollipop: periventricular leukomalacia (prenatal brain damage) on top of all the respiratory problems associated with prematurity. His development was delayed such that he walked at age 3, talked only sporadically in one and two word bursts. His brain only reluctantly processed the visual signals his eyes were sending, so he'd turn his vision off when he was tired. And he spent three years medicated for infantile spasms. But in spite of all his issues, he was a sweet little guy when he wasn't hurting.
JJ came down with pneumonia last weekend. By the time we got him to the hospital Monday morning, he was clearly in distress. We supported him with oxygen for a day and a half; I spent all Monday night with him, and his mother and his school aide traded hours. But Tuesday night he just couldn't keep up the effort to keep breathing; JJ died quietly, in my arms. His pain and suffering have ended. We buried him Friday.
If that was more than you wanted to know, sorry. If you want to see a few photos of the little guy, www.fredsampson.com/JJ.htm.