Terminally Ill Man Happier Than He Has Ever Been, After Lifestyle Change

Terminally Ill Man Happier Than He Has Ever Been, After Lifestyle Change
Tribune - WREG - Memphis/screenshot

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A New Jersey man diagnosed with cancer decided he wants to live out his last days on the mighty Mississippi River.

After Kelly Phillips was diagnosed with sinus cancer, he decided he would not die in a hospice. The major trouble started while Phillips was undergoing chemotherapy. The radiation from the chemo caused additional troubles in his body, according to Tribune Media.

“The radiation caused an ulcer in my stomach, one morning I got up and by ten o’clock in the morning, it exploded,” Phillips told WREG.

He was told he only had months to live, so he made a decision about where he would spend his final months.

“You know what? Find me a houseboat on the Mississippi. That’s where I’m going to die,” Phillips told WREG, recalling the moment.

He’s been floating along since March 15, according to Tribune Media. He resides on the boat with his dog. He says he is the happiest he has ever been.

He told WREG that river life is much less stressful than the life he had before. He used to own various businesses.

“Every day I was mad, at something,” Phillips told WREG. “When you have 53 employees you get mad a lot.”

He said the greatest part of his experience on the river is the people he meets.

“It makes tears come to my eyes every time I think about how much people have done for me,” Phillips told WREG.

He told WREG about the time when people working near a dock in St. Louis collected wood for him so he could keep warm after he slipped off a dock in winter and fell into the water.

Phillips and his dog are now tied to a dock in Memphis, Tennessee. He has yet to decide where next on the river he will take his houseboat.


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