Diana Lynn Altman, 79, of Laurinburg, NC, died December 11, 2013 of complications resulting from multiple strokes. She is survived by her daughter, Lydian and her two daughters, Brooke and Christine; and her son Reed and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children, Sebastian and Marisol. Diana's career in international development public health took her to nearly half the countries in the world, and most recently she had homes in Chapel Hill and Laurinburg, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the Scotland County chapters of Habitat for Humanity, Literacy Council, or Planned Parenthood. Online condolences may be made and further information about a service at Scotland Place in Laurinburg, Thursday, December 19, 2013 from 2-4 pm may be found at: www.brownwynnemillbrook.com.
The obituary will be updated as soon as possible, so please check back.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to;
-Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County
12340 McColl Rd.
Laurinburg, NC 28352
-Scotland County Literacy Council
213 McLaurin Ave.
Laurinburg NC 28352
1765 Dobbins Dr.
P.O. Box 3258
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Lydian wrote this a few hours before her mom died last Wednesday:
Some of you may be aware yet others are not, that my mother, Diana Altman, has been dealing with some health issues in the last month or so. It started as double vision and dizziness that grew progressively worse (but intermittent) in late October. Initially, she was referred to a vascular surgeon for a blockage in a chest artery.
We were busy getting pre-op tests taken care in the days before Thanksgiving. She was still dizzy and was having trouble managing day to day tasks. Thanksgiving day, however, she was able to get dressed and join the entire family in some of the dinner preparations. Tradition dictates that she make the gravy and carve the bird. This year my brother, Reed, did the carving and mom supervised my oldest daughter, Brooke, in gravy-making. We all were able to join at the table for a fellowship and merriment.
That evening mom returned to Raleigh to spend a few days with Reed and his Family. Friday morning she woke up and could not move her legs. She was transported by ambulance to Duke Raleigh Hospital, about 2 miles from Reed's house. We have been here ever since.
Initially, the diagnosis showed she has had a series of mini strokes. A cerebral angiogram indicated complete blockage of the rear two (of four) arteries leading to the brain. Incredibly, and somewhat mysteriously, the front two are relatively clear. We expected to release her to acute rehab on December 6, a week after admittance.
The evening of December 5th, mom suffered another stoke in the brain stem, which controls major bodily functions like swallowing and breathing. Despite an initial rally, it became increasingly clear she could not go to rehab since she could not pass the assessment tests. Even if she was able to regain some of these functions, she would be living under the threat of additional strokes given the blockages and recent experiences. Reed and I reached a difficult and necessary fork in the road decision.
Mom is still here in hospital but under palliative care until she passes. No more poking, prodding, sticking, or beeping. This is hard, but the right thing to do. Thankfully, my girls and brother have been here and very supportive. Yesterday morning they sang her carols and favorite Beatles tunes. :-). This morning she is resting peacefully and taking very shallow breaths.
I am grateful to all of you for the words of comfort you have offered. No doubt we will need more of that as we navigate days ahead.