Kebin is survived by his mother, Deborah Rattle, an aunt,
Cheryl Campbell, his grandmother, Georgia Powers, a special
and devoted friend, Lincoln Jones, and a host of friends and
staff at the Cerebral Palsy School of Louisville, Mattingly
Continuing Education Center.
memory of my son, Kebin Aaron Rattle
On October 17, 1999, I had
Kebin transported via EMS to Norton Suburban Hospital
subsequent to two days of coughing and chest congestion.
It had always been difficult trying to determine the
extent of any illness Kebin experienced because he was non-
verbal and his cognitive capacity, limited.
The EMS technician intubated him in the ambulance and
after being examined by the ER physician, they determined
that he was suffering from bi-lateral pneumonia.
He was admitted to ICU.
At this point, the pulmonary specialist attending him
described his condition as "serious ".
He was sedated, but not
October 18, 1999, his condition remained
"serious." Due to increased agitation, however,
his sedation was increased.
He appeared comatose from that time until his death
two days later. The
physician did express concern that his white blood count was
extremely low and to survive the pneumonia, his count would
have to increase. The
cultures taken were not able to determine what was causing
On October 19, 1999, the
pulmonary specialist downgraded his condition to
"critical;" however, expressed that he was
"hopeful " for a recovery as Kebin’s white blood
cell count had increased.
This was the day that I first heard the words Adult
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
Later during the day, Kebin had an episode were he
vomited resulting in aspiration.
The course was downhill from there on.
His body became incredibly swollen, so much so that
the lean, sinewy, always smiling young man I birthed and had
cared for the past 24 years began not to look like himself.
Due to a curve in his trachea, there was some
difficulty in maintaining the position of the tube.
More antibiotics were added, as well as a central
line. On the
morning of October 20, 1999, the pulmonary specialist
advised me that Kebin's condition was "grave."
Maintaining adequate oxygen levels was difficult, his
heart rate became erratic for several hours, and at 7:30pm,
October 20, 1999, my Kebin took his last breath.
I buried my only child on October 25, 1999.
Born June 5, 1975, to the
union of the late Dan Rattle and Deborah Powers Rattle,
Kebin had with multiple disabilities – cerebral
palsy/spastic type, atrophy of the optic nerves, epilepsy
and mental retardation.
He attended Jefferson County Public Schools and
graduated from Male Traditional High School in 1996.
He attended Mattingly Center for Continuing
Education, Cerebral Palsy School of Louisville until his
attended school twenty-two of his twenty-four years of life.
School was the highlight of his days, and generally,
any absences were related to the numerous orthopedic
surgeries he underwent.
Everyone was always astounded at how quickly he
recovered from the surgeries.
He enjoyed swimming, listening to weather reports and
the music of Toni Braxton and Michael Jackson.
Kebin wore a sunny smile every day and loved to be
around people. He
was the heart and inspiration of his mother, Deborah's life.
by Aunt Cheryl
(a poem written to commemorate his 21st birthday)
I first saw you when you were two months old
So I have known you most of your days
You are a spark of light in this troubled world
With the most engaging ways.
have been through much, but you've held up
With the valor of a knight
When most of us would have given up
You never ceased to fight.
many lives you've brought joy
Great wonderment and awe
That such a tiny little boy
Would persevere for so long.
now today you are twenty-one
The birthdays of all birthdays
And I just wanted to let you know
I will love you love forever and always.
These words I wrote three
years ago still holds true today.
Anyone who ever met Kebin knows that because of his
mother's love and devotion, he turned out to be a remarkable
young man who brought joy to all that knew him.
We will all certainly love him forever and always.