Ross Wilson Duke Obituary

Ross  Wilson Duke
Ross Wilson Duke
Ross Wilson Duke

October 4, 1995 - June 23, 2011
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Ross Wilson Duke aka Leonardo Barile Duke, 15, of Des Moines, Hopeville, IA and Las Vegas was born October 4, 1995 and died June 23, 2011.

How does a mother tell the life story of the sweetest most incredible person that ever lived? Ross was born premature at 23 weeks weighing only 18 oz. Though he had numerous medical challenges the only time in his whole life that he cried was at birth.

Ross lived at the hospital for 2.5 years before finally going home. He had over 12 surgeries and lived on a ventilator for eight years. At age 11 months his esophagus was ruptured due to a medical mistake which led to a 108 degree fever and brain damage. Time after time the doctors told me he was going to die. But Ross was a fighter and proved them wrong.

Ross never talked because of vocal cord damage from years of tracheotomies, but we always knew what he wanted. There was always a smile on his face, and he laughed without making a sound. Ross adored his brothers and sisters. They all spoiled him, because he always made them happy.

At about age 10 Ross was healthy enough to go to school, which he loved. He would get his backpack and oxygen tank and run to the door when he saw the school van. He attended Smouse and Ruby Van Meter where he would try to sneak out the door to touch the buses. He especially loved yellow school buses and finally got to ride one when he went to Ames.

Due to a birth injury, Ross' left knee was damaged. The doctors always said he would never walk, but Ross proved them wrong again. His oxygen tank and 4 inch lift on his new shoes never stopped him from winning three medals for walking at the Special Olympics.
Ross had asthma. Three times the attack was so severe that he had respiratory failure and the paramedics at Des Moines Station #10 came and saved him. But the fourth asthma attack and respiratory failure on May 28, 2011 was the worst. Again Station #10 saved Ross and got him intubated and breathing on a ventilator in the hospital. As he emerged from a medically induced coma he watched every move the nurse's made. I was hopeful to have him home again, but infections in his blood and colon led to gradual failure of many body systems including his pancreas, kidneys and liver. Finally, after 27 days, the heart of the sweetest person ever born, just couldn't take anymore and gave out.

Ross was a miracle from the moment he was born. He went through more medical problems than 50 people, but he never complained and never cried. That was the only way of life Ross knew. Everyone who ever met Ross loved him. How could you not love that beautiful smile?

Ross was preceded in death by his siblings, Joshua and Isabella; and his grandpa, David Holt. Ross will be missed by his mom, Diana "Bobbie" Duke; and his siblings, Vicky, Chuck, Jeremy, Ben and Tim Duke, Angela Darner and Anthony Allen; grandmas, Maxine Nall and Alberta Holt; plus thousands of people who were fortunate to have ever met him and who loved him very much.





Ross Wilson Duke family home
3374 E. Payton Ave.
Des Moines, IA US
Saturday, July 2, 2011
1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Ross Wilson Duke family home
3374 E. Payton Ave.
Des Moines, IA US
Saturday, July 2, 2011
1:00 PM
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