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Our thoughts are with friends and family of Brad Smith

Nov 28, 20123 mins
IT LeadershipTechnology Industry

This is a difficult time for infosec professional Brad Smith, his family and friends. CSO offers its thoughts and prayers.

I want to take a moment and say a few things about Brad Smith, an infosec professional who has had a big influence on the community. He suffered a devastating stroke at last year’s Hacker Halted conference in Miami as he was delivering a talk, and his recovery has been full of emotional ups and downs.

Sadly, according to a blog message from his wife, Nina, Brad has entered a final decline. From her message:

More than a month ago, Brad had surgery to replace his skull with a prosthetic medical grade plastic.  The surgery went well.  The doctors were all very pleased.  Then Brad began to have seizures and subsequently suffered two additional hemorrhages – strokes. 

The first of which was on the right side of his brain, almost a mirror image of the very first one, affecting mobility on his left side.  The next was a hemorrhage in his left temporal lobe.  At first, Brad was responsive, and could track with his eyes and tried to communicate, but he has been declining since.  He is currently at a long-term acute hospital north of Longmont, near Loveland, CO.  The VA has graciously provided for us once again.

Monday, we had a family meeting to address the next steps.  The doctor has seen no improvements in the two weeks since Brad arrived here, and the likelihood of him ever being able to live on his own without 24/7 assistance is next to zero.  Life for Brad would be in some kind of a nursing home facility.  There’s no quality in that and he would never want that kind of existence (I couldn’t let that happen either).  It was up to me to make a very difficult decision, one of the hardest ever in my life. 

I chose comfort care, which will honor his wishes and avail him a dignified end.  We agreed to have all medications stopped and feeding tube turned off with the exception of pain medications as needed. 

Now it’s just a matter of time.  His parents and brother (and wife) will arrive in Denver on Wednesday to be with us.

I met Brad a couple times, but didn’t know him very well. But I’m well aware of the respect and love people in the community have had for him.

To those in the community who are close to Brad, we at CSO extend our sincere thoughts and prayers.

And for Brad and his family, we wish you peace and blessings in the coming days and beyond.

–Bill Brenner