Appleton WWII veteran keeps fighting for survival

Local News

A WWII veteran keeps on fighting for survival.
Late in life, he was only given days to live and continues defying the odds.

“I enlisted in the Air Force in 1942 in November and I got out November of ’45,” said Wesley “Wes” Young, a WWII veteran from Appleton. “I spent three years in the Air Force.”

He moved supplies around Western Europe as a passenger on a C-47 during World War II.
He was 22 at the time and led a healthy life into his 90s.
But that is when he would be up against incredible odds yet again.

“Went to church in the morning,” he said. “It was Sunday. I took a nap after dinner and everyone was sitting outside. I walked outside and sat in a lawn chair and I just threw up blood.”

The likely cause was a growth on one of his lungs.
He was given a death sentence, but he was not ready to go.

“They gave me two days to live and I beat that rap,” said Young.

Wes kept asking for water, but doctors said he should not eat anything because he will not be able keep it down.
That is when a new friend working in hospice asked Wes’s daughter to hear him out.

“I said, ‘Well, give him some water.’ And she said he’s not supposed to, and I said, ‘Well, this is your dad’s dying wish. Give him some water.’
Then I heard him whisper that he wanted some soda,” recalls Dennis Nagan, a family friend who visits Wes every week. 

She goes, ‘Well, what are you going to do?’ I said, ‘I’m going to go get him some soda if it’s OK with you.'”
“A little while after that, he whispered that he wanted some sherbet. She goes, ‘What are you going to do?’ I said, ‘We’re going to get him some sherbet!'”

And now, three years later, Wes’s extra time keeps ticking.

“No matter how bleak something gets, if you believe, great things can happen,” said Nagan. “It’s just a really cool miracle.”

Wes has eight children who make a point to visit him as often as they can.

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