Man who fell after saving cat dies

Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FAIRBANKS - A 73-year-old man who fell from a tree after rescuing a cat last month has died after his family had his breathing tube removed.

Joseph Fletcher of Fairbanks had been in a Seattle hospital since suffering a head injury, a torn aorta and broken ribs in the fall. His family decided over the weekend to have the tube removed.

An official at Seattles Harborview Medical Center says Fletcher died Monday.

His daughter, Rebecca Fletcher Bafus, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in an e-mail earlier Monday that the decision to have the tube removed was not easy, but it's what her dad would want.

Fletcher was the co-owner of J and E Trees.

He fell 25 feet after letting the cat down with a rope and pet carrier July 18.

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