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Celebrating ‘trooper’ Brangman

The life of Shawn Brangman, who endured a long battle with heart ailments, will be celebrated tomorrow by family and friends.

“He had a good life,” his father, Stanfield Brangman, told The Royal Gazette.

“Not too many people can deal with an aneurysm. Sometimes when you have one, it's lights out. Shawn had three. He had a bonus.

“I do think this particular procedure knocked the wind out of his sails. I think he was tired and his heart couldn't take any more.”

The close relationship of father and son through unrelenting medical problems was celebrated in this newspaper for Father's Day last year by the group Imagine Bermuda,.

“It was a close relationship; I was his main caregiver,” Mr Brangman said. “We had a lot of fun together; we had good times — he was a trooper. He's had his run.”

The cause of Shawn's death is not yet known. Father and son had been at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after he suffered a stroke on November 30.

A congenital heart murmur led to heart trouble that included a torn aorta in 2012. Nerve damage caused by surgery affected his mobility, confining him to a wheelchair.

In his latest complication, a leaking heart valve caused a stroke. The 34-year-old was taken to Baltimore by air ambulance, and surgeons operated three weeks later after stabilising him.

Mr Brangman said doctors had been pleased by Shawn's progress after a difficult procedure.

“His spirits were high; he was upbeat and slowly getting his strength back, his voice was coming back strong. He won the hearts of doctors and nurses on the floor.”

After a while, Mr Brangman's sister Yvette and Janet were able to join them at the hospital.

Once Shawn was back in his wheelchair, he was able to take small trips, such as going to see the hospital's famous marble statue of Jesus, a replica of the Christus Consolator statue in Denmark.

On January 20 they visited another Bermudian patient who had gone through open heart surgery. Mr Brangman left his son that evening.

In the early hours of January 21, however, “everything went haywire”, and Shawn quickly slipped away.

“The doctors and nurses were stunned,” Mr Brangman said. “He was getting ready to be released. We don't know yet what went wrong. They worked on him for 20 minutes but for Shawn it was all over.”

Mr Brangman was called by his daughter Shawnette a little after 5am, and passed on the news to his daughter Shawnae back home, before going to see his son's body.

“There he was, lying there peacefully,” he said.

As well as his two sisters, Shawn is survived by his older brother, Stanfield junior His mother Deborah was lost to cancer in 2005.

His life will be marked with a ceremony at 11am tomorrow in the First Church of God on North Shore, after which he will be buried in Christ Church, Devonshire, with his mother.

From right, Stanfield Brangman took care of his son Shawn Brangman with the help of family and friends like Bentley Peter Smith (Photo by Jonathan Bell)

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Published January 29, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 29, 2016 at 8:23 am)

Celebrating ‘trooper’ Brangman

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