On August 1, 2007 Ned’s sister Diane wrote,
Ned died on Sunday morning in hospital. He was taken by ambulance on Friday evening as he was having difficulty breathing and was put on life support. By Sunday he told me to take him off everything—he wanted to go. The doctor explained to him the process and it went very fast. He was given morphine in a drip and when he felt very comfortable the meds keeping his blood pressure up were removed and he just slipped away.
It had been a long hard road. This is from a letter he wrote on February 8, 1995:Last fall I heard an interview with the writer Reynolds Price on PBS concerning his book about his own spinal cancer, paralysis, and ten years of pain. He was asked, ‘Do you ever ask, “Why me?”’ He said, ‘That’s one thing in all this about which I feel some pride. I never waste my time asking that question. Why not me?’ Well, I’ve never wasted time on it either. It’s rotten luck, but some people have rotten luck, that’s all. It’s made me despair often, but I don’t feel any grievance. It was nothing personal.