Dr. Jeffrey W. Hahn (d. 02/15/2021)

Shortly before 9PM on Monday, February 15th 2021 my father, Dr. Jeffrey W. Hahn, widow of Maricel L. Hahn (d. Aug. 30th, 2020) passed away from complications of acute hypoxemia (low blood oxygenation). It all began a bit past midnight on Sunday the 24th of January he was admitted for bladder infection (hematuria). During emergency treatment (catheterization) he suffered a drop in blood oxygenation (hypoxemia) and was admitted to the ICU for supplemental oxygen. A day or so later and for unknown causes he then suffered a stroke (cranial infarction). All these conditions improved steadily over the subsequent 2 weeks, but in the 3rd week his progress on the hypoxemia stalled and reversed. At first, Dad became slightly less able to sustain himself every day without supplementary oxygen. Cardio-pulmonary deterioration accelerated despite his (multi-specialist, round-the-clock) care team’s best efforts. Supplemental oxygen requirements went up until at last the only option was full intubation. Prior to intubation, Anne and I were permitted special visit access (under Covid rules, visits are permitted only for terminal/hospice palliative care patients). Just that morning, we had met with his entire specialist team cohere around a get-well plan of tests and heart surgery. When we left the hospital that evening that plan was still in place. In fact, we spoke to the attending cardiologist bedside just before we were gently reminded that shift change necessitated bidding Dad goodnight. We did, after several “I love yous” audibly exchanged across his mask, despite incredibly difficulty speaking. Notably over nearly 3 hours at bedside Dad laughed a few times as we read him emails and texts and showed him all manner family pictures. He made other noises of approval, hope, and comfort, regularly pausing to give and receive squeezes with our hands. A couple hours after departing Georgetown University Hospital we were called by an attending physician. Dad’s oxygen had dropped below dangerous levels and intubation could no longer wait. They hoped intubation would help Dad survive to testing and surgery the following morning. Within an hour of intubation we received a call that his heart had given way as he slept peacefully. We had showed up to share good hope and wish him good night. Dad fought to stay on and share good company and wish us good bye.