1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Dan Duff

It is strange and familiar that each heart beat that drives the blood through my veins and arteries can be felt by me every day. About five years ago, while mowing my lawn I suddenly felt a tightening in my chest. This was at first just uncomfortable and I thought I could go in the house and rest a while and it would go away and I could resume my mowing. I soon found that just standing was a chore, then sitting was not helping. Finally I lay in the floor gasping for breath. My wife called the fire department and they came and started doing the things that they do including cutting off all my clothes. I think they train one guy to do this and is secretly paid by some clothing chain to cause me to go out and buy new levis and shirt. Anyway, where were we, oh yea, well they cart me off to the nearest hospital and they do everything in their power to keep my heart pumping blood through my body.

The gave me a massive blood thinner, so the heart would not have to work so hard and make it easier to keep the blood pumping oxygen through the body. I had just gone through a massive heart attack that left me with only about 12 to 15 percent of the heart function left. On top of all that there was the problem of blocked arteries going from the heart. After four by-passes they finally got the heart to pump with a consistent enough beat that would keep me alive. I now have about 10 percent of that heart working for me and take a tub of pills everyday to sustain a heart beat.

I said all that to illustrate what it is like to stare death in the face. If my heart had stopped beating, I would have been declared dead and they would have packed me off and disposed of me in a manner prescribed under the law of the land and Dan Duff would have been no more. Once the heart stops, its over. As for now I am still here and medically I still exist.

Today, my wife and I drove over to Orlando to be with our daughter in law who was having an "ultrasound" to verify a couple of things. One was to verify that she was indeed pregnant and the other was to see that the baby was seated well and in the right place for a normal term. I should note here that this girl is a five year cancer free survivor and will be taking on a tremendous challenge to have this grandbaby for us.

The girl was twenty minutes late in getting us into the room with the equipment and out daughter was very uncomfortable because they had her drink a lot of water and her eyes had already started turning yellow. We finally got in there and we got to see the inside of the womb and a little fella about one centimeter long with a little heart going about 150 beats per minute.

As I stood there in awe at this site feeling like we had invaded Gods private domain. I was struck with the realization that here was a little person who is less than two months into existence and he already has a little heart that you can see as clear as day thumping in his chest. I have heard all the arguments all the way to Roe verses Wade and nothing had ever before convinced me about the conception of life as those pictures today. All the way home I pondered over this and have come to this conclusion. If my life had terminated almost six years ago, it would have been determined by a doctor standing over me to declare that I had no heart beat and therefore my body had died. If that is true then wouldn't it be just as reasonable to assume that if that heart had restarted, I would be declared alive and a person again? Today I saw a fetus in a womb with a heart beating, so I submit to you that, that person is alive and is a person. If any one would break into my house and kill me, bad heart and all, that person should be tried and convicted of murder.

What about that fetus? Is there no one to speak for it? I was born number seven of eight children in my family. What if....................