Bill's Obituary

William Ryan
William Thomas Ryan, age 68, of Seymour, the beloved husband of Dawn E. Williams Ryan for 49 years, entered into eternal rest on August 4, 2009 at Bridgeport Hospital due to complications from a serious burn accident, surrounded by his loving family.

Bill was born in Milford, CT on October 9, 1940, the beloved son of the late Howard and Helen Macfarlane Ryan. He was a former member of the Great Hill Methodist Church. He was a Master Mason of Ansantawae Lodge #89 A.F. and A.M. of Milford. Bill was also a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of New Haven, as well as the York Rite Commandery #2, Hamilton Commandery #5, and the Pyramid Shriners #9, Milford.

Bill was a resident of Seymour for 37 years and was the Owner and President of Ryan Contractors and Builders of Seymour. He was a Board Member of the Inland/Wetlands Commission of Seymour and a Board Member of the Seymour High School Building Commmittee. Bill was a former volunteer member of the Devon (Milford) Firefighters Company #4. He was also an avid custom car enthusiast, a voracious reader, and enjoyed gardening and skiing.

He will be sadly missed by his family and many friends. His loving family, in addition to his beloved wife, Dawn, includes his cherished children, James Ryan and his wife, Jackie, of Maine; his daughter Nancy Smerekanicz and her husband Joseph, of Southbury; and his daughter Kerry Smith and her husband, Noel of Ansonia; his loving sister, Cora Nichols of Oxford; his caring brother, Howard Ryan and his wife, Maureen, of Southbury; his cherished grandchildren, Jamie, Jeremy, Samantha, Ashley, Brandon, Elizabeth, and Ellie and four loving great-grandchildren, Charity, Taner, Trinity, and Wynter; and several caring nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his beloved brother, Jim Ryan.

Friends and relatives may call at the Funeral Home on THURSDAY evening from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Interment will be held in Mountain Meadows Cemetery, Seymour. A Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening, at the Funeral Home.

A Funeral Service in celebration of Bills’ life will be held FRIDAY at 11:00 am in the chapel of the MILLER-WARD FUNERAL HOME, 260 Banks Street, Seymour, (across from Klarides Village) with the Reverend Walter Pittman, Pastor of the United Church of Christ, Southbury, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family strongly requests that memorial gifts in Bill’s name be made to The Bridgeport Hospital Foundation Burn Fund, 267 Grant Street, Bridgeport, CT 06610.

August 4, 2009

With heavy hearts we said our goodbyes to Bill, Dad, Grandpa, PaPa, Great-grandpa, Uncle Bill, Billy, and our thick-headed Irishman.

At 2am he passed away and is now in the hands of our Lord.

Our family would appreciate hearing any short stories or anecdotes you may have about Bill. Your previous comments have really shown how many lives he has touched in so many different ways. Your comments have brought us to tears and have also made us laugh.

Details of arrangements will follow.


August 3, 2009

At 11:30 pm last night, the surgeon decided that Bill needed to once again go into the OR because his condition was not improving. His abdominal cavity was flushed to remove any remaining contamination that may have been contributing to his decline.

He made it through the surgery, but it did not help improve his situation. He underwent a dialysis procedure this morning because his kidneys have shut down. The dialysis did not go as well as expected due to his blood pressure dropping. He also experienced issues with his heart most likely due to a high potassium level. His liver is also declining.

We met with the doctor in charge this morning who informed us that things are bad. It was decided to give the family 24 hours to reconcile with letting Bill go.


August 2, 2009

We are sorry to say that Bill took ten steps backward today. He is critical and seriously unstable.

At 2am he was rushed to the OR to remove a perforated colon. After 5 hours of surgery to remove the colon, the surgeon decided to temporarily close off his ileum (the last portion of the small intestine) and try to stabilize him for 24 hours. Tomorrow he plans on giving Bill an ileostomy, which provides a new path for waste material to leave the body after part of the intestine (colon) has been removed. The surgeon may also remove Bill's gallbladder, which is contributing to some of his complications.

The surgeon brought us very grave news that Bill has a small chance of recovery due to so many factors and complications. The main concern is that a perforation of the colon releases lots of toxins into the abdominal cavity, and from there into the blood stream, affecting other organs.

We spent the day praying, gathering around Bill and holding on to that small chance of hope. As of 10pm tonight we continue to be hopeful, because he made it this far.

He is receiving large doses of antibiotics, a lot of fluids, pain, blood pressure and sedation medicines to help him remain stable. His heart rate was good throughout the day.

Please pray for Bill.


August 1, 2009

Bill is progressing nicely although he remains in critical, but stable condition.

His pain and sedation medicines are slowly being reduced and he is tolerating the decrease well. His blood pressure, temperature and heart rate are stable.

He continues to open his eyes - usually when he is being "fussed" with - bedding changes, dressing changes, respiratory care, chest x-ray, etc.

A much needed quiet day today. We'd like this to continue for a few days so his grafts will have some time to adhere.


July 31, 2009

Today, we held a family (seven of us) meeting with the doctor and nurses to discuss Bill's progress and where he's headed these next months.

The doctor said we can be cautiously optimistic, but to remember we are not out of the woods yet. Bill will be considered in critical condition as long as he is on the ventilator.

The main concern as we go further is infection.

The next steps will be decreasing sedation and pain medicines. Sometimes emergence of patients can take up to a month. Then, they will work on getting him off the ventilator and on oxygen. Physical therapy will be continued throughout. He will go back for surgery a couple more times to re-graft donor skin and areas that have not adhered.

After our meeting we all felt Bill is receiving the best care possible. All our questions were answered or addressed. The nurses and staff have been caring and patient with our unending questions!

Thank You for all your positive comments and heartfelt prayers for Bill's recovery and family. This gives us hope and keeps us strong for him.


July 30, 2009

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers - they helped tremendously because yesterday's grafting surgery went quite well!! They took him down for surgery around 3:30pm and he returned around 7:30pm. We were able to visit with him after he was settled in his room. He opened his eyes in response to voices again.

The donor skin on his upper right arm was replaced by his own. His right hand was re-grafted with his own skin because it didn't adhere the first time. He received donor skin on his chest.

He also received a tracheotomy to replace the intubation tube in his mouth. He remains on a respirator through the tracheotomy, which continues to breathe for him. He also has a feeding tube in his nose and another in his mouth for suction.

His face is no longer wrapped in gauze. It's wonderful to see him! He looks as if he received a really bad sunburn - all pink. He's a little swollen in his face and neck due to surgery.

Today, ALL his vitals are GOOD. He continues to respond to voices by opening his eyes. Things are finally looking up - yeah!