Death of a Good Man
Frank was sick a lot during 1974. At first he attributed his weariness and periodic bouts of nausea and vomiting to something he'd eaten, or to exposure to chemicals at the foundry. He took Alka-Seltzer and bore his symptoms as best he could. But his illness persisted, and by May of 1975, he was ready to consult a doctor. Dr. Jones, the family's physician, first prescribed fluids, then Kaopectate and Maalox, then an antispasmodic medication. Nothing helped. When Frank's sister Freeda Adcock visited him on May 22, he told her he was sicker than he'd ever been and that he feared he would die. He also told her that Marie had, on Dr. Jones's orders, given him an injection. At the time, Freeda thought nothing of it.
At 3:30 the following morning Marie found Frank wandering the yard in his underwear. She took him to the hospital, where tests showed that his liver had failed. Dr. Jones changed his diagnosis to one of infectious hepatitis and prescribed new medications. Frank's condition worsened; he was jaundiced, hallucinating and very agitated. It was all Mike Hilley could do to keep his father from jumping out the window. At around 4:00 am on May 25, Mike left the hospital to pick up his grandmothers and bring them to see Frank. When he returned about an hour later he found his mother asleep and his father dead. The official cause of death was infectious hepatitis, and Frank Hilley was buried on May 27, 1975. Mike Hilley preached the sermon at his father's funeral.