There are plenty of ways to break news to someone, but it seems that the internet has found all of the worst ways to do it. That was definitely the case five years ago when former Chicago Bears defensive tackle and three-time Pro Bowler Tommie Harris went to see his wife at the hospital just after Valentine’s Day. In a story via The Players’ Tribune, he detailed how he found out about her passing.
She had been in the hospital for a routine breast reduction surgery, but she slipped into a coma while resting after the procedure. He rushed to Oklahoma where his wife was staying and described how he ultimately found out about how she passed away:
For three days I stayed at the hospital with Ashley. The waiting room would fill up with family and friends during the day, and then empty out at night. Then fill, then empty. On the third day, I was sitting in the chapel, praying for a miracle, when somebody burst in.
“Have you seen this?”
It was a news article. It said something like, Tommie Harris’s wife has died of a brain aneurysm.
I rushed to Ashley’s room. The doctor was there, and there were people coming in behind me. I didn’t know who they were. I yelled at the doctor.
“What’s going on?”
He explained to me that the other people coming into Ashley’s room were there to harvest her organs. There had been a miscommunication somewhere … something lost in translation. The ventilator hadn’t been keeping Ashley alive so that she would have a chance to pull through. The brain aneurysm she had suffered had done too much damage. She was gone. The ventilator had been keeping her body working so that her organs could be harvested for donation.
My wife had passed away, and I found out over the Internet.
So next time you hear that a coach found out he was fired via the internet or Twitter, remember that there is way worse news that can be reported and found out through the internet. It was moving for him to share that story and certainly puts things in perspective.
[h/t The Spun]