Jeej leaves the country on business, and Judy fades. She’s had a longer life than she’d ever thought possible back in 1970, and she decides it’s time to say good-bye. Yet death is not the end. And her life is not the beginning and end of TPN. Her example, her courage, her life inspired others to live longer, fruitful lives and restored quality of life to tens of thousands of very sick-but-not-dying people around the world.
Cliff finds Judy dying in Toronto General Hospital. Panicked, he phones Jeej at his home. Jeej is astounded, but advises Cliff to transfer her to St. Michael’s Hospital if he wants him to look after her. Within hours, Judy is at the Queen Street hospital, and Jeej is there with his residents and the nurses. Shock at her condition stuns him for a moment, but he recovers quickly and mobilizes his team to save Judy’s life. Once again.
Some change is not good. Judy’s doctor, the man who saved her life and kept her alive for almost two decades, has moved to a new hospital. Worse, the TPN program did not move with him because Toronto General Hospital fought for and won the battle to keep it. While Jeej works to train people at St. Michael’s Hospital and to create a new TPN program there, Judy’s health deteriorates.
“It was like travelling with a celebrity,” Marlene told me when I was interviewing her about Judy Taylor. Nowhere was that more true than on their road trips down to New York state for the annual Oley conferences. Judy loved those conferences, meeting fellow patients, being able to travel with her friends from Toronto General Hospital, talking to doctors and nurses involved in TPN care. For being the first to live on Home TPN and for inspiring so many to live good lives on this artificial form of feeding, Judy won the inaugural LifelineLetter Award from Oley.
In this chapter, Judy starts experiencing the consequences of too little nutrient knowledge early in her life on TPN. Back in the late 1960s/early 1970s, not much was known about Vitamin D given intravenously; because of Judy, they discovered the requirements are much less in TPN than in a normal food diet. At first, it seemed she’d be OK. But then in the 1980s, she began breaking bones. And soon her hair began falling out, for reasons unknown. Her health care team spent the decade trying to learn more, trying to help her.
Judy cannot believe it. For the first time in her life, she’s travelling in a plane over the clouds and over the seas. To Sweden. To be a star guest of Prof Arvid Wretlind at an international medical conference. She’s so thrilled, she’s not going to let a little thing like a skin abscess stop her.
Judy fears bugs, the viral or bacterial kind, even a cold. For bugs can kill her. She takes pains to avoid them. Somehow though, she catches one. She quickly spirals down, and Cliff races her down the highways to Toronto General Hospital and Jeej. It’s touch and go. The entire hospital hears about it and worries. Will Judy make it?
The fall out from Judy being absent for so long and then her life being one where death was ever present, continues. First Miriam leaves home, then Julie springs a surprise on her parents. Judy goes through a raft of emotions, but she never loses contact with her girls.
Sometimes the price people pay for being the first, being a pioneer, appears in their children. And so it was for Judy. It began in her eldest, first with minor rebellion then with running away and finally with an arrest. Judy didn’t know what to do. In the end, she had to send her daughter to Toronto.