Letters: End Of Life Lessons And Dropout Stories NPR's Tony Cox reads listener comments about previous show topics including the difficult medical decisions many people face at the end of life, the turnaround story of a high school dropout and memories about Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which is set to close.

Letters: End Of Life Lessons And Dropout Stories

Letters: End Of Life Lessons And Dropout Stories

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NPR's Tony Cox reads listener comments about previous show topics including the difficult medical decisions many people face at the end of life, the turnaround story of a high school dropout and memories about Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which is set to close.

TONY COX, host: It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. At the end of life, we often face difficult decisions about those final moments. And many of you shared your stories, including Judy Austin(ph) from Boise, Idaho, who emailed: As my mother was dying at home under hospice care by her choice, she said to me that she thought she should move to a hospital or nursing home, that the burden on my dad was too great. My response, heartfelt, was that his caring for her was the only thing that was keeping him going. I never told him of the exchange. But how he dealt with her death, knowing he had done all he could to make her last weeks comfortable, confirmed the wisdom of what I said.

During our discussion about high school dropouts, we asked, where are you now? Sara Taylor(ph) from Broomfield, Colorado, sent this story: I dropped out of school after the eighth grade. Nowadays, I would probably be called an at-risk student. I suffered from anxiety and depression and attempted suicide when I felt pushed to attend school. I finally earned my bachelor's degree in 2008 at the age of 48. I don't regret leaving school as I truly don't believe I could have survived that environment, and I was much more comfortable in the working world. But I do wish I had finished college when I was younger and smarter.

Finally, Walter Reed Army Medical Center will be closing, and we wanted to hear your memories about this Army hospital. First Lieutenant Danielle Williams(ph) told us, I'm a former Army brat who was treated at Walter Reed for scoliosis from 1999 to 2004. I remember being in awe of the hospital and the very tall, formidable chief of orthopedic surgery, Dr. David Polly, who operated on my sister. It was also a little intimidating because orthopedics was located adjacent to prosthetics. Now, I'm a lieutenant in the Army, thanks to the quality of medical care I received at that hospital. I am extremely grateful to Walter Reed and the medical staff who work there.

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