Patients Recall Wade Bostwick Fondly
By LIBBY CUDMORE • From The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
MILFORD – When Kerry Hall took her son, J.T., then 10, into Bassett Hospital, it was a struggle to get him to communicate with his doctors. “He was scared, he wouldn’t let the doctors near him,” she said. “He was just sitting in a corner.”
But Wade Bostwick, veteran Bassett security guard, knew what to do.
“He came in and sat on the floor with him and asked him about what he liked,” the mother said. “He brought him a stuffed animal and a Pepsi, and they chatted about video games and fishing. After Wade was able to bring him out of his shell, he allowed himself to be treated. Wade was a lifesaver.
“We need more people like that,” she said.
Bostwick, 50, was found deceased Saturday, Nov. 24, in the living room of his Center Street home in Milford after his son Andy called 911.
“We received a call about a man not breathing,” said Milford Fire Chief Don Eckler, “When we arrived, we found smoke in the house and a small fire in the basement.”
According to Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., who was also called to the scene, the fire started in the hot-water heater.
An autopsy at Lourdes’ Hospital in Binghamton determined that the cause of Bostwick’s death was carbon-monoxide poisoning, likely from a malfunction the hot-water heater. Devlin said the investigation is still ongoing.
“We don’t respond to carbon-monoxide calls every day,” said Eckler. “That’s what makes this so shocking.”
Anthony Gentile, county Code Enforcement Office director, said what happened underscored the importance of a carbon-monoxide detector, which he said is as important as a smoke detector.
“Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless,” he said.
Such detectors are required for new homes and expansion projects, said Eckler, but many homes in the county, including Bostwick’s, don’t have them.
They should be placed outside of every bedroom, said Gentile, and many smoke alarms now include them.
“All homes should have them,” Devlin agreed. “They’re an early warning sign.”
He also said that all fuel-burning appliances should always be involved by a professional, as malfunctions can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. Whilst finding the replacement unit itself by using sites like waterheaterreviewssite.com can be done by untrained individuals, a licensed professional should always do the final installation and safety checks.
“When a fuel-burning appliance is properly vented, there’s no build-up of carbon monoxide,” said Gentile. “But if it’s old or defective, you won’t know that it’s building up.”
According to county 911 Director Rob O’Brien, his office has received 45 calls this year about carbon monoxide, although several of those were because of low batteries or bad sensors.
“All alarms should be taken seriously,” he said. “Occupants should contact 911 and evacuate the structure.”
He also stressed that occupants should not ventilate the structure, prior to evacuating, and should keep all windows and doors closed, prior to the arrival of responders.
Wade was born Oct. 14, 1968, in Oneonta and lived in various places before returning to Milford with his son Andy in 2008.
He is survived by his son, Andrew; father, Charles and Wanda; sisters, Gina and Heather; step-children, Christina, Nikka and David and their families; two nephews, Christopher and Adam; many aunts, uncles and cousins. Private services will be held at a later date.
“It’s a tragic incident,” said Devlin. “Our office worked with Wade, and he was a hard worker. It’s always difficult when it’s someone you know.”
“He was so sweet,” said Hall. “I was so sorry to hear of his passing.”