An Indiana man left paralyzed from the shoulders down after a hunting accident chose to be taken off life support Sunday. Timothy "Tim" Bowers, 32, of Decatur was deer hunting Saturday when he fell 16 feet from a tree and suffered a severe spinal injury.
Unable to move and dependent on a ventilator to breathe, the Bowers family asked doctors if they could bring Bowers out of sedation, remove his breathing tube, and ask him what he wanted to do. They were able to inform him that although he could have surgery to fuse his vertebrae, he would never be able to walk or even live outside of a hospital again.
According to his sister Jenny Schultz, “We just asked him, ‘Do you want this?’ And he shook his head emphatically no.” Doctors repeatedly asked him the same question and were given the same response. So they removed his breathing tube and he died five hours later.
Bowers, just married in August, leaves behind his pregnant wife Abbey, stepson Greg Shively, and "Baby Bowers." The Associated Press reports that he had previously spoken with his wife about his desire to avoid life in a wheelchair should something ever happen.
And while his sister acknowledges that others might disagree with his decision, she knows it's what he wanted. "No outcome was ever going to be the one that we really want," she said. "But I felt that he did it on his terms in the end."
[Image via AP]