A few years ago, Texas father George Pickering II took an extraordinary risk to save his son’s life. His decision to hold his son “hostage” in the hospital room where doctors had begun to remove the young man from life support cost Pickering a few months in jail. Looking back, with his son healthy and alive today, he wouldn’t have acted in any other way.
In January 2015, Pickering’s son, George III, was put on life support after suffering a stroke. At the time, his doctors had declared him “brain dead,” the New York Daily News reported.
Hospital staff had put Pickering’s ex-wife and his other son in charge of making decisions for George III. Assuming that the end was near, they began making end-of-life plans for him.
In January 2015, the hospital approved a “terminal wean” to slowly remove life support. It was then that George II decided he needed to take action.
“I felt hopeless. They were moving too fast. The hospital, the nurses, the doctors,” the father told KPRC-TV.
To delay doctors from prematurely ending his son’s life, a drunken George Pickering II entered Tomball Regional Medical Center in Houston armed with a gun and demanded to see George III.
Pickering later admitted to local media that he was intoxicated and aggressive, threatening staff. But at the time he felt utterly desperate and absolutely certain that it wasn’t his son’s time to go.
He was quickly disarmed by his other son, but he used a second weapon to hold up his George II’s hospital room.
A SWAT team was called in to negotiate with Pickering, but just as he thought his time was running out, George II squeezed his father’s hand for all to see.
“During that three hours, George squeezed my hand three or four times on command,” Pickering later said.
After hours of negotiations, Pickering surrendered peacefully, according to the Daily News.
He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but one was later dropped and the other lessened to a state jail felony. Pickering was released in December 2015.
And as for George III? He his alive and forever grateful that his father listened to his paternal instinct.
“There was a law broken, but it was broken for all the right reasons. I’m here now because of it,” he said. “It was love. It was love. It’s the duty of a parent to protect your children and that’s all he did. Everything good that made me a man is because of that man sitting next to me.”
“This case has always been about a father protecting his son, when his son couldn’t protect himself,” Pickering’s lawyer Phoebe Smith told KPRC.
“The important thing is I’m alive and well, my father is home and we’re together again,” George III said.
(H/T: New York Daily News)