President Donald Trump personally called 44-year-old terminally ill cystic fibrosis patient Jay W. Barrett on Tuesday to lift his spirits.
“I can’t believe that he called — I’m ecstatic about it,” Barrett said. “It was an amazing experience.” Trump started the conversation with a compliment, saying “all right, Jay, you look handsome to me. I just saw a picture of you.” Barrett thanked the president for his “kind honors.”
“How are you doing? How is it going, Jay?” Trump asked. “It’s going, you know what I mean?” Barrett responded. “You’re a champ. You’re fighting it right?” Trump responded. “That’s what the Irish do,” Barrett answered. “Yeah, that’s what the Irish do,” Trump agreed, “you better believe it.”
The jovial conversation was the result of efforts by Barrett’s sister, 1st District City Council member Bridgette Hoskie, in whose home Barrett will spend the last days of his life in as much comfort as can be provided. Hoskie’s attempt to get Trump to acknowledge her dying brother, despite describing herself as “100% Democrat,” has gained national and even bipartisan support.
Barrett has been a staunch supporter of POTUS and told Trump that he would vote for him again in 2020, “God permitting.” Trump told Barrett that he “sounded like a fighter.” According to Barrett, Trump said, “we need people like you on our side — fighters.”
HUD official Lynne Patton will visit Barrett on Saturday, presenting him with a gift on behalf of the Trump family.