After a difficult night on Friday, Terrell Starks was able to stay awake long enough on Saturday afternoon to watch the movie "The Blind Side" with his family from his bed.
He was able to talk with them, and to express hope that he would feel better as he lives through the final stages of sickle cell disease. And I got to clasp his hand in mine, and know that he realized I was there.
This brief reprieve came after a night when his body was wracked by spasms thought to be caused by his medications combined with his organs gradually shutting down. "Honestly, I didn't think he would make it through the night," his mother Valicia said.
On Wednesday, his father Carl said, doctors and nurses gave him two days to live at most. "Now," he said, "we're at Saturday."
But though he seems better than last night, Carl can't help recalling how much better he looked weeks and months ago, when he could walk around the house, eat full meals and carry on long conversations with them.
"That's the disease progression at its utmost," Carl said. "It has gone full circle."