A medical resident brought me up to date: a trach, then off the ventilator, multiple abdominal abscesses and fistulas, multiple computerized tomography (CT) scans, fevers, high WBC counts, but here he was now, despite it all, alert, afebrile, stable. He had a gastric tube to keep his anastomosis "dry" while healing, preventing gastric fluids from leaking into his peritoneum. He also had a feeding tube inserted through his abdominal wall into his small bowel below the anastomosis through which liquid nutrition was introduced. Having been on a regimen of nothing by mouth for weeks, Dad said, "I’m dying for a ginger ale, I’m so thirsty. And I’d probably die if I had one."