Hello and thank you for stopping by. We are journaling this Caring Bridge site so that his friends and family have one place to stop for updates and his status.
In mid-January, Chris was diagnosed with lung cancer and was admitted to Altru Hospital for surgery on February 1 to remove the cancer from his right lung. A few days post surgery, Chris developed pneumonia in the recently operated on lung. He became very weak and was having trouble walking and getting out of bed without assistance. Because of the inability to get in and out of bed, Chris developed a pressure ulcer that needed surgical intervention. Chris remained in the hospital until March 7th, when he was transferred to Northwood Deaconess Health Center Nursing Home. He quickly deteriorated and was transferred back to Altru by ambulance on March 13th. Chris is currently in SCCU at Altru where he is on a ventilator and is heavily sedated.
Chris had an unending passion for golf and played almost every day during the season. He was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. Chris served in the military was stationed in Vietnam. He came to North Dakota 30 years ago when he took a position as a counselor/supervisor in a halfway house in East Grand Forks. After working at the halfway house, he took a job in the Gaming industry and worked as a Blackjack dealer in many business in Grand Forks. He met Bonnie Espelien in 1992 and patiently waited for her to agree to a first date in 1993. In his younger days, he loved to travel and he and Bonnie took many trips together including Las Vegas, Mackinac Island and Door County.
Chris has been affectionately known as “Papa Chris” since 1995 with the birth of Bailee Espelien. She fondly remembers his quip, “Bailee! Time for bed!” Carter has always been, “Carter’s Little Liver Pills”. Chris and Adam have always had a special bond and Adam looked to Papa Chris as someone he could talk to about anything. He enjoyed spending time with Justin and Amber during Christmas and summer visits. Amber practiced her beauty tricks on Chris and he willingly participated.
We will try and update this as much as possible with the information we have. Thank you for stopping by and keep Chris in your prayers as we love him and don’t want to let him go quite yet.