Kingston man dies while awaiting liver transplant

The Whig-Standard | Patrick Kennedy

When his story appeared in this space just a few weeks ago, Don Franklin realized then that he faced long odds in his bid for continued life. In failing health while awaiting a liver transplant, the one-time popular trapper/fishing guide understood his was an uphill climb, a race against time kept by the only clock that matters.

That life-saving operation was perhaps weeks away, with the potential liver donor in the final stages of testing. Franklin’s job was to hang on, which he did defiantly. He’d become terribly sick one day, bounce back the next, then get bushwhacked days later, laid low by a useless organ.

His spirit was kept buoyant by a significant spike in a GoFundMe account established on his behalf. Since his story ran on Page 1, the total in the account had doubled to more than $12,000.

Sadly, last Friday at Kingston General Hospital, Don’s race ended. He was 64.

Franklin and fishing operated on the same principle as Hollywood hoofers Astaire and Rogers: a reliable, likable act caked with plenty of charm, laughter, entertainment and uncanny skill. Continue reading