(NEW YORK) — A deaf, quadriplegic California man who died from pneumonia left behind a touching and humorous farewell note for the family, friends and supporters who made up his devoted social media following.
David Rose, 24, died Oct. 11, but wrote a blog post three days earlier for his sister to publish in case he did not survive.
“Today I found out I have pneumonia,” Rose wrote. “It not the nice kind either, where you cough for few days then go home and have ice cream. It the bad kind where you probably do not go home.
“So I am write this today and ask Nichole [his sister] that if everything be fine in a week then trash this and I will write a funny new post with lot of boob jokes in it,” Rose wrote, maintaining his sense of humor. “But if I not be around in a week then publish this. So if you read this now it because I am not around anymore so there are people I want to thank and few things want to say.”
Rose was born with severe athetoid cerebral palsy, which rendered him a quadriplegic. The part of his brain that processed sound was also damaged, leaving him deaf.
He communicated primarily by reading ASL (American Sign Language) and by using a Tobii eye-gaze computer that tracked his eye movement, which he used to post to Facebook, Twitter and write blog posts.
Rose has more than 15,000 Twitter followers and hundreds of Facebook fans.
He was admitted to a hospital Oct. 2 after having some difficulty breathing, according to a blog post by his sister. She wrote that there was no need for panic as doctors said he was just suffering from a cold, but would keep him in the hospital for a few days out of concern for the cold turning into pneumonia. When it did, he wrote a goodbye blog.
On Oct. 11, Rose’s sister tweeted, “This is David’s sister Nichole. At 5:33 pm David was whisked away by angels. He wanted you to read this,” followed by a link to his final blog post.
In the blog, Rose wondered whether there was sound in heaven or if angels would know ASL.
He thanked his mother and sister for being the best and putting their “lives on hold so many times for me.” Rose lived in a resident home for the disabled in Costa Mesa, Calif., and his mother and sister lived nearby in Huntington Beach.
To his sister Nichole Rose, he wrote, “Nichole please be happy. You will not find it in a guy or in alcohol. You find it in yourself and need learn love yourself again. You can do that without my help now. What happen to you is old news and it time for a fresh new life!
“I will be watching and make sure you do it and be happy!” he wrote.
Rose expressed his gratitude for all of his teachers, aides and friends, near and far. The ardent Taylor Swift fan also dictated to which friends he would leave his concert DVDs and posters.
“I want everyone to know how much we have appreciated your love and support, and much more importantly, how much my brother David loved and appreciated all of you,” Nichole Rose wrote after her brother’s death.
She said she would be taking her brother’s advice and going away to do something she has planned on doing for years. She said she would be going offline for “quite some time” and asked for privacy for herself and her mother.
“I loved my brother very much. Still do,” she wrote. “He was and is the light of my life. I will miss you David, so very much.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire