5/20/2016 Robert Hender
Salt Lake City, Utah
Robert Albert Hender Jr. AKA “RJ”
Born in October 1960 in Seattle Washington, the oldest of 5 children. Early in life, Robert was responsible for caring for his younger siblings, who loved him dearly.
Though he desired strongly to serve an LDS mission, Robert was unable to due to reasons beyond his control. He instead dedicated his life to serving others with his best asset, his voice. Robert loved to sing, and had a great singing voice, he also served in the local media in several capacities, including but not limited to KPAX TV, KTKK Radio, and he took on the world with his website www.morningliberty.com
A father of 11 kids, of which 5 currently live at home and depend on him fully, he set aside his own wants and continued to serve the community, his country. For years he worked tirelessly in radio, and through his website to bring to the forefront news that the rest of the world ignored. Robert was no stranger to controversial topics, in fact there were many radio stations that silenced him for being willing to openly discuss topics that mainstream media ignored. The selfless work that he did for over 10 years was his way of serving his country, he believed that with all of his soul even until his dying breath. There was never really any money in it, in fact, most months the family went without basic necessities.
7 years ago, Robert found out that he was suffering from a genetic liver condition referred to as Alpha One Antitripsin Deficiency (A1AD) that would eventually take his life. He spent as much quality time with his family as he could, knowing that his time could be up at any moment. About 2 years ago he started having weekly surgeries to relieve the pressure off of his liver. He was on the liver transplant list at the University of Utah, and was waiting for a donor. As he worsened, he lost his voice almost completely, and was unable to continue being a radio talk show host, which he loved so much. He then dedicated his time to continuing his work on his website, which he was still hard at work maintaining until just days before “the worst week of my life”.
On May 14th I got word f rom my younger sisters that my dad was exhibiting symptoms of a stroke. He was taken to a Hospital in Provo Utah where it was determined that his ammonia levels were dangerously high. His liver function was diminishing. He stabilized after a brief stay at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center and was released to go home. Less than 24 hours later, his wife found him unresponsive in his favorite chair.
He was taken by helicopter back to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where at first things looked optimistic, but then things took a turn for the worst. Having been on life support since 9am, his body was giving out. Around 9pm we were told that he only had hours to live. His kidneys had stopped functioning, and his seizures were getting closer together, and worsening. 12:00am May 20, 2016 he was taken off life support and left to his own devices. With his family by his side, he went peacefully back to his Father in Heaven at 12:15am May 20, 2016.
He leaves behind his wife Virginia, and 11 kids, 5 of which were financially dependent on him. Without his disability check coming in, the family is now displaced from their home of 8 years, and forced to start life over again without the one person that held them all together. His wife, who had recently started working part time at Walmart, still not even able to cover basic necessities is now left with no option but to uproot her family and start life over 2 hours away from the place they called home for so many years.
Robert did not have life insurance, nor was he able to prepare in any way for what might happen to his kids if he were to leave them this early. We are scrambling to figure out how we can pay for a burial at all, let alone how the little ones (youngest being 10) will be able to get back to life as normal.
We are asking for your help, in any way you can. This is a desperate cry for help, and we would not be asking if it wasn't 100% necessary. Time is of the essence. If you can help in any way, we would be eternally grateful. I wish it didn’t come to this.
We have setup a GoFundMe campaign to help collect funds to pay for final expenses. Click here to donate.
Thank you so much for reading this, it means the world.