Thank you for visiting my donation page for the AIDS WALK Houston 2017. Here is my story.
My name is Megan Morris and I lost my brother, Travis, to AIDS on May 19, 2016.
Several months before Travis passed away, his health declined at a rapid pace. He spent many nights in the hospital but no answers were ever given. My mother and I asked on several different occasions for the hospitals to test him for HIV, which we were told was negative each time but to our astonishment, after retrieving his medical records, the test was never performed.
With several visits to the hospital and no answers, there was nothing we could do besides watch him slowly die. Travis had times where he would just randomly fall while walking or standing which eventually led to the loss of his ability to walk. Shortly afterwards, he developed bladder and bowel incontinence and lost his ability to feed himself.
After all of these visits with no answers, my mother was able to reach out to Doctors in other parts of the town and she was finally able to find one who promised that they would find out what was going on with him. This Doctor ran every blood test that he possibly could. On April 17, 2016 my mom logged into the system to see which test results had come back, she went over each one reading 'negative' each time until she reached the very last test on the list which read 'positive.' It was HIV-1. Travis had AIDS and he had developed AIDS dementia. The virus attacked his brain which caused it to shrink and function at the age of a 90 year old.
The day before Mother's Day, we went to visit him at Ben Taub and he was able to talk. The last words my brother ever spoke to me were, "please don't leave me in here." They promised us that he would be transported from Ben Taub to a facility; however, the following Tuesday, he was released and sent home. That evening he lost his ability to swallow, his ability to see, his quality of life was completely gone. He was supposed to start treatment that Friday but the virus took complete control and it was too late.
On May 14, 2016, I received a phone call from my mom that his hand had turned blue, so I rushed down to her house. When I got there and saw him, I knew he wouldn't make it much longer. Travis was supposed to go into a facility for hospice care that Sunday but he needed to go immediately. After my mother spoke with them again, they had available space and told her that he could come in as soon as possible. There was no way that we could transport him comfortably in my mother’s car so we hired a private ambulance service to take him to the Omega House. I wish he was able to see the facility he spent his last few days in, it fit him so well and I couldn’t have asked for a better place for him during those days.
For 6 days, we sat by Travis’ side and watched him slowly die. We don’t know if he was able to hear us and we have no idea if he even knew we sat by his side every single day until he took his last breath but I hope he knows that he wasn’t left alone to die.
With my hand on my brother’s chest, I watched him gasp for his last breath of air on May 19, 2016 at about 2:40 pm.
After his passing, my mom relocated closer to where I live. While cleaning out his room, we discovered that he knew he had AIDS for 3 years. I cannot even begin to imagine how alone and scared he must have felt keeping this inside for so long. As a family, we will always have unanswered questions as to why he chose to not speak about it or get treatment but I can tell you that it doesn’t get any more real than this. You don’t hear much about HIV/AIDS anymore but it does exist, it is real.
Travis had a heart of gold and would help anyone in a time of need, no matter what it meant for him. Every person that he met he touched in some way. He was loved by many.
Today, I ask for your support to raise awareness about this terrible virus. Please assist me in reaching my fundraising goal. Now, more than ever, we need to join to fight this preventable disease that is affecting so many individuals in Houston and around the world.
AIDS Walk Houston will take place on Sunday, March 4th. It is an exciting ~1.8 mile (~3K) walk event that raises money for HIV/AIDS initiatives throughout Houston, increases community awareness and educates Houstonians about HIV/AIDS.