- Meet Consumers/Patients
Bill Fitzpatrick, Sr.
My family and I have been supporters of the Oley Foundation since it was founded in the early 1980s. Our oldest son, Bill Jr., has been on a tube-feeding regimen for the past thirty years, after complications from emergency gastric bypass surgery terminated his career as a Navy pilot.
Back in 1982, my wife, Marge, and I were desperately searching for help with our son’s nutritional problems as we watched him slowly starving to death from malnutrition and malabsorption after being discharged from active duty with the U.S. Navy. A massive nationwide search for experts in nutrition produced no results until purely by chance, after reading a magazine article, we heard about Dr. Lyn Howard at Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York. Dr. Howard is a co-founder of the Oley Foundation.
One of Dr. Howard’s protégés, Dr. John Jenks, subsequently encouraged us to spend the next three years with our son as a patient of Albany Medical Center and nearby VA Medical Center while we slowly and methodically developed a unique plan to have Bill Jr. insert his own nasogastric tube and feed himself while he slept. So far, he has utilized the procedure about 10,000 times while consuming over 80,000 cans of liquid food supplement. The local aluminum recycling center near where Bill now lives in the Washington, D.C., area eagerly looks forward to his weekly contributions.
Bill Jr. is no doubt one of the most unique enteral patients in the world to the extent he reapplied for active duty with the U.S. military and became one of the first ever to be considered for re-entry as a disabled veteran. No longer able to fly in combat jets, he elected instead to join the ranks of our nation’s premier spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he has served with distinction for over twenty-five years. Bill Jr.’s life story is available through www.Amazon.com in the book Jacob Ryan: Patriot, Medical Miracle, Spy.
Bill Jr., Marge, and I are perennial caregivers to those suffering from nutritional problems and requiring either parenteral or enteral support. We try to help people from all walks of life, including a prisoner on parenteral nutrition who is serving a lengthy sentence at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Bill Sr., was formerly employed by the Procter & Gamble Co. and several airlines before he retired from Macy’s as an executive. He writes, including the book noted above, and counsels the elderly about retirement options. Both he and his wife, Marge, are in their eighties.
LifelineLetter, November/December 2012