ALS claims man who just wanted a kinder world

Chris Rosati, who suffered from ALS, died yesterday after a few more hours of suffering when he decided to have doctors remove the tracheal tube that helped him breathe and stay alive.

There should be more compassionate ways to allow people to die but the issue remains too hot for any politicians to talk about.

If anyone deserved a peaceful exit from this life, it was Rosati, who just wanted to spread some joy in his last years.

Three years ago, the North Carolina man plotted to steal a doughnut truck. Why? He wanted to give away doughnuts.

Rosati said he didn’t have enough time to teach his daughters the life lessons he needed to, but he could teach them to be kind.

He embraced The Butterfly Effect, the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings on one side of the globe can create a hurricane on the other.

He didn’t have much of a voice left when he told Steve Hartman about his idea to randomly give away $50 at a nearby diner and see where the kindness went. It spread to the other side of the world.

Rosati had no voice left a year ago when he penned a “Note to Self,” but he still had more kindness than most of us.

Rosati said the trach tube had turned him into a monster. It took several hours for him to die yesterday.

“There was nothing he could do or say at the end to negate the gifts he gave,” Steve Hartman wrote about his friend. “I think his daughter Logan said it best when I interviewed her for a 2014 Father’s Day story. ‘He tried to make friends with the world. I think it’s hard to do,’ she said. A few tears started pooling before she finished, ‘I’m proud of him.’

Rosati was only 46 when he died.

  • Guest

    Being KIND is a great legacy. Every act improves the world.

  • Barton

    The fact that we let humans suffer in a way that we would never accept for our pets is heartbreaking. And so wrong. This man’s suffering could easily have been stopped, but instead he basically had to suffocate to death for hours.

  • AL287

    I think our society today has forgotten how to be selflessly kind as in being kind to others without expecting anything in return and that includes a simple “Thank You.”

    True kindness is a selfless act that also goes along with mercy.

    Chris Rosati died a merciless death and he didn’t have to. There are ways to alleviate suffering that will bring a merciful death. Removing a trach tube and allowing slow suffocation is definitely not one of them.

    At least his daughters will have the videos of their father’s efforts to make the world a kinder and gentler place.

    Thanks for this story, Bob. When we find ourselves in “Woe is me.” mode we can remember there are people who are much worse off than us.

  • kennedy

    This man lived an exemplary life. Thanks for this post!

  • Jim in RF

    He seems like a very kind and heroic guy, in his own way. On the issue of assisted suicide, though, I’m conflicted. There’s a lot of mean, scheming people; and it would be dangerous to open an avenue for them to conveniently dispose of people who are just in the way.