Dedication: John Teufel
Posted on December 31, 2013
CF patients aren’t really supposed to be around each other because we can give each other bugs that cause infections, so I haven’t really been allowed to meet many other CF patients. In my hospital all of the CF patients stay in the same section of the hospital. Advances in social media make it pretty easy to become friends with other patients when they are admitted at the same time. Naturally we make friends with each other because the other person completely understands what you’re going through. Family and friends say they understand because they see it, but they really don’t.
One way to make friends with CF without the risk of catching bugs is online. I went onto a social website created solely for CFers and I met a man named John Teufel. He was 55 when I met him and the oldest person with CF alive at the time. We became very close. He was funny, witty, and kind. He made all of the gross and unpleasant things about CF funny, through the way he told his stories. We would talk almost everyday. I would get so excited to go on the site and see the little number one above the envelope that meant I had a message.
A little while after he turned 56 we talked less and less. One day I sent him a message and didn’t get a reply. I went onto his Facebook page and found out he was in the hospital in critical condition. I’m not usually a religious person, but I prayed as hard as I could for him to come through. I kept with his updates on Facebook, until finally I saw that he was up out of bed and was walking around, even talking and eating. I was so happy. A couple of days later I saw the dreadful post that said John had passed away.
John was a big inspiration for me and many others with CF. We rooted for each other and gave each other advice and support. He was one of my best friends. I miss him everyday, even though I never met him in person. I know he is up in heaven with a big smile on his face ready to tell an inappropriate joke.
I dedicate this website, my blogs, and all of my efforts to him. John Teufel, from Missouri, you are greatly missed.