Remembering Duane

Elena Noble, MPT | December 2011

Today I have a special post for you. It is the story of a loved and special member of the Rifton community.

Duane was a beauty, even by baby standards. At three months though, the seizures set in – up to 15 a day – leaving him with brain damage. Duane never spoke a word, never took an independent step, and he needed an attendant every hour of his life.

31 year old Duane smiles broadly at his birthday celebration

He died this November 15. He was 31. Yet what a life he left behind.

In the days that followed each one of us who knew him remembered what effect his life had on us. Over seventy young men had spent part of their lives caring for Duane – or was it Duane ministering to them? Many of them came forward at Duane’s funeral to tell his parents how he had changed them. As they spoke we recalled these words of Jean Vanier.

“My heart is transformed by the smile of trust given by some people who are terribly fragile and weak. They call forth new energies from me. They seem to break down barriers and bring me a new freedom. Even the hardest heart can’t resist. Contact with people who are weak and who are crying out is one of the most important nourishments in our lives. When we let ourselves be really touched by the gift of their presence, they leave something precious in our hearts.”

Last week, Duane’s parents visited New England Assistive Technology Center at Oak Hill (NEAT) bringing with them Duane’s 2 prone standers, SoloLift, and 2 trikes. Their wish was to donate this equipment to help others with special needs like Duane. The staff at NEAT could not have been warmer, and welcomed the donation.

Join with us this Christmas as we remember Duane Bazeley and his remarkable life. And we thank you for the care you give to others like Duane.

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