HOUSTON, Texas — A Texas man prayed for by people all over the world, and identified with the hashtag #HelpChrisSeeChristmas, has died two days before Christmas. Breitbart Texas reported that the man, 46-year-old Christopher David Dunn, a former sheriff’s deputy, was fighting a Texas hospital that wanted to stop the care.
The local ABC affiliate in Houston has reported that one of Dunn’s attorneys has confirmed that he has died.
Dunn was fully-conscious and asked his mother and attorneys to fight for his life. When asked whether he wanted to hire lawyers to fight for him, Dunn placed his hands in the prayer position. A video was made showing that the former peace officer and EMT wanted to fight for his life.
His mother, Evelyn Kelly, said a hospital administrative death panel from Houston Methodist Hospital, was “playing God.”
Dunn is a former sheriff’s deputy and has worked as a Homeland Security officer but had no health insurance when he got sick. He had been in the hospital for approximately ten weeks since a noncancerous mass was found where his small intestine connects to the pancreas. Ms. Kelly said the mass was squeezing off the small intestine and was affecting his liver and kidneys.
The distraught mother told Breitbart Texas in early December, “The hospital wants to turn Chris’ nutrients and extra air off and they are playing God. They want to kill my son. They say there is nothing else they can do for him, but I don’t believe that.” “When they found out that Chris did not have insurance, they said they were done,” Chris’ mother exclaimed.
As reported by Breitbart Texas on December 11, Dunn’s mother said the hospital wanted to turn the breathing machine off and administer a dose of morphine and another drug she did not know the name of. She was told it would only take three to five minutes for Chris to die if the drugs were administered.
The man, his mother, and his lawyers, filed a lawsuit in an attempt to save the man’s life. His attorney, Joe Nixon, told Breitbart Texas at the time, “A criminal on death row in Texas has more rights than a patient in a Texas hospital.” He says a Texas statute denies a patient all due process rights and is unconstitutional.
Another lawyer who was representing Dunn, Trey Trainor, says Texas law gives a hospital the right to make life or death decisions without consulting the patient or the patient’s family.
Dunn was fully conscious but was receiving oxygen and antibiotics through two tubes down his throat. He was receiving fluids and nutrients intravenously. His lawyers and his mother said he was capable of making his own decisions but had difficulty speaking because of the two tubes in his throat.
Hospital officials were fighting to stop his treatment and filed for a court to appoint a guardian to make decisions for him. Dunn filed suit but the hospital filed their own lawsuit asking that a guardian be appointed for Dunn. Dunn and his mother, Evelyn Kelly, had been making choices regarding his care.
Dunn and his lawyers were not able to get a court hearing date in the guardianship suit before he died.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2