::::His last three hours::::
Amazing how we connect, and the roles we consequently play in each others lives.
I met Jaco when he brought his wife, Ingrid, to my office. He had found me via the yellow
pages. I am an obstetrician, and Jaco and Ingrid were planning to start a family. I will
never forget his presence, and how he announced he was the greatest bass player, so
brought records for me to the following office visit. Heavy Weather, and the first
solo album, I had never heard of Weather Report, and was forever hooked.
Per his invitation, I saw him several times perform, once with Ira Sullivan at a club called
Bubba's on Sunrise Blvd. I felt close to him, and we use to joke about the size of his hands
compared to mine. I would tell him it wasn't the size that counts, but what I do with my hands.
We had lost touch, but not too long before he passed away I was with my children at Holiday Park,
and he had asked for some change to buy hot dogs, in lieu he gave me his guitar strap. He bought
the hot dogs, and grilled them on one of the grills randomly available throughout the park.
Next time I saw him was a sad day, he had been admitted as "John Doe", beaten, I happen to be
on a call for one of my patients, and was told about this John Doe, as soon as I looked at him,
with his injuries I knew it was my friend Jaco. That is how the family was eventually notified.
About 9 days later the decision was made to take him off life support, as usual Ingrid had been
there all day, the family started to arrive to be present for the removal of the life support.
didn't want to be a part of it, and left the hospital shortly before the support was removed.
What followed next is something that most of us in the medical profession had not heard of.
Everyone there had been informed that after removal of support, it would take about 20 minutes,
the most half an hour, so we all waited, the priest, his parents, his brothers, first wife, and kids.
But an hour went by and eventually everyone got restless, the priest had to leave, others left and
periodically came back in. This went on for THREE HOURS, his heart continued to beat strong,
shown on a monitor, though he wasn't breathing. All my colleagues I have spoken to about this
agree it is very unusual, unheard of. For three hours Jaco put up a fight, his heart beating strong.
Only he would do something like this his special way.
What an amazing man, to this day I think of him often.
And Jaco, you were right, you are the greatest bass player.
Peace, my friend.
~~Miguel A. Gonzalez, MD
B A C K
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