On Tuesday, October 14, 2008, another person in the United States lost their life to Hereditary Angio Edema (HAE) by laryngeal asphyxiation: Ryan J. Noble of Yorktown, IN, age 33.
At 5:00 Monday morning, Ryan’s mother, Claudia, was awakened by a call from Ryan on his cell phone. He managed to cry out, “Help me,” and then his mother heard him fall. Since Ryan lived across the street, about half a block away, Claudia and her husband ran out the door to go to him, but instead found him lying on their front porch with no heartbeat and no airway. Claudia’s husband immediately began CPR and it took 20 minutes for EMTs to get his heart started. They spent Monday and Tuesday in the ICU, but there was too much brain damage and then eventually no brain activity at all.
As far as they can determine, Ryan was treating himself for a “sore throat,” based on discussions with a friend and over-the-counter medicines found in his house. He had visited his parents on Sunday until around midnight and had shown no symptoms at that time.
Unfortunately, this is not unusual for people with HAE. Something as innocuous as the common cold can turn deadly fast. What makes this death even more tragic, however, is that the very first treatment to be made available in the United States (which has been available in Europe for 30 years!) and that could have saved Ryan’s life was approved by the FDA on October 10, 2008 — just three days before Ryan’s fatal attack.
This is how I signed the guest book on his online memorial:
LIFE IS A ROSE
What can we do when the dead wind blows?
How do you hide from the thorns of the rose?
Where do you go when your heart is torn?
How do you even begin to mourn?
Recall the face of your loved one often
So that in time your grief will soften.
Take hold of the hands friendship adorns;
The beauty of the rose is worth the thorns.
Written by Kat in honor of the beautiful life of Ryan J. Noble, plucked too soon; for his mother, Claudia