Donald Parr, 87
Donald Parr is a gentle, amiable man in his mid-80s who was admitted to Sunnybrook’s 32-bed palliative care unit last October. Globe photojournalist Kevin Van Paassen spent several days over a four-week period with Mr. Parr and his family in December. Senior features writer Sandra Martin includes part of his story in Part 4 of The Hospital series, Life’s last milestone: Why a ‘good death’ matters.
Patients admitted to the palliative care until on average die within 18 days of admission, but Mr. Parr defied the odds.
“I survived the three-month sentence, so I can leave,” Mr. Parr said in early December.
Mr. Parr is a former mechanic for Massey Ferguson.
He was happy on the palliative care unit at Sunnybrook but worried about being a burden on his family.
The hospital wanted to discharge him before Christmas, but Mr. Parr’s family resisted. Where would he go? Mr. Parr took a turn for the worse after the holidays.
Mr. Parr died on Jan 17, two weeks after his 87th birthday.