When then-15-year-old Brady Thompson made the decision to put himself in hospice care on Jan. 9, 2007, doctors gave him six months or less to live.
Brady fought through those six months -- and tacked on another 1,152 days to the tally before finally succumbing to the rare, debilitating illness that caused him to suffer hundreds and up to a thousand seizures per day. Brady, 18, died Friday morning at his Lindon home.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at the Lindon 5th Ward chapel, located at 610 West, 100 South, Lindon. A viewing will be held on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the same location.
Brady, the son of Darrell and Lori Thompson, was featured in a 40-page special section that appeared in the Daily Herald on Christmas Day 2007. The story of his inspiring battle has been updated a few times since then, and the impact of his incredible will to live touched hearts around the world.
Earlier this week, the Thompsons received a surprise package from Iraq. It contained a flag that had been flown by a squadron there. One of the medics had received a copy of a recent story about Brady, and the soldiers in his group wanted to do something special for the Lindon teen to let him know of their support.
"Considering what they are doing, that meant something," Lori Thompson said after recounting the experience.
Brady suffered his first grand mal seizure on Sept. 1, 1995, a couple of months before his fourth birthday. His incurable disease, which was never officially diagnosed, escalated over the years. The hundreds of seizures he could experience every day burned so many calories that the ever-growing teenager had trouble keeping weight on his wiry frame. Those seizures took many forms, ranging from grand mal and atonic (also known as drop attacks) to absence (characterized by staring and momentary lapses in awareness). His health experienced many peaks and valleys in the interim and he was close to death a few times, but somehow, some way, he always managed to pull through -- his contagious smile intact.
Brady achieved his last remaining goal on July 6, when he received his Eagle Scout award, something he had been working toward for several years. When he did his Eagle project -- painting fire hydrants in many Lindon neighborhoods around his home -- in late June, nearly 100 people showed up to participate on short notice.
Brady had that effect on people not only in life -- but even in the hours just after his death.
When Darrell Thompson called to inquire about purchasing a burial plot shortly after Brady's death, and provided the name of his son, the previously unknown woman on the other end of the line asked if this was the Brady Thompson whose stories she had been following. When informed that it was, she broke down and started crying.
Brady leaves a legacy of making even strangers feel like family.