My Non JW Father was due to retire in a few months. Although he was young looking and vibrant, he found out he needed a heart bypass operation. He had studied with the JW's and attended meetings and all he knew about blood transfusion was what he learned on his study.
His doctor assured him that blood wouldn't be an issue so even though he didn't fully understand why blood transfusion was wrong, at the recommendation of the elders and his JW family, he signed the no blood paperwork just in case.
His surgery went well and he was recovering well then suddenly, he began to get weak and was coming in an out of consciousness. They discovered that one of the grafted arteries was leaking and his blood count was dangerously low and they'd need to do a transfusion or give him fractions to build it up enough for him to survive the repair work.
He was not lucid enough to resend the no-blood paperwork so all they could do for him was use the standard measures to expand and to build the blood up. The attending nurse was a JW and she came to us quietly and said there's no way she'd ever refuse blood if she wasn't a JW. She wondered why our Father was doing this if he wasn't baptized. She said, "you need the red blood cells and the oxygen they deliver....despite what the society say's, there's no way to get around this". There's no way I would do this if I were him.
A short time later, we were all in his room sitting around his bed and talking to him as he came in and out of consciousness. He was hooked up to monitors and I V drips etc when suddenly he bolted upright and scrambled down to the end of the bed toward us. He grabbed my sister around the neck and roared in pain then dropped dead while my sister and us tried to hold him up and get the tubes and monitors untangled.
The medical staff came rushing in and shoved us all out of the room. On the way out the door, looked back to see them tear open my fathers wound and start pumping his heart by hand. My sister was in hysterics and my kids were frightened.
Unfortunately Dad didn't make it. There was nothing they could do without blood. About 2 years later they made the ruling that it was OK to use blood fractions. The blood fractions would have been enough to extend his blood and give them a fighting chance to go in and re-attach the artery that was leaking. Not only that, I'm sure my father would have seen the ridiculousness in this ruling and would have looked into this issue more.
To top it off, the elders arrived and told us how we'd soon be seeing Dad in the new system since he died upholding Jehovah's laws. We asked if we could hold his memorial at the Kingdom Hall but they denied our request because he wasn't baptized. I said " So you say Jehovah's most assuredly going to resurrect him in the New System, but in this System of things, even though he died upholding this JW no blood ruling, his JW family isn't allowed to hold his memorial in the Kingdom Hall because he's not baptized?" They all looked down at their shoes in shame at the ridiculousness of this policy.
Thank you Watchtower for killing our kind and wonderful Father. A man who was more honest and decent than most of you are, and who didn't deserve to die so soon and in this most horrific way. He didn't get to enjoy his retirement that he worked for, didn't get to see my younger sister grow up or know any of his know his 5 grandchildren thanks to your inspired yet always changing directives.