Ailing Man Who Got His Wish for a Call From Trump Dies at 44

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
March 14, 2019 Updated: March 14, 2019

WEST HAVEN, Conn.—An ailing Connecticut man who had a bucket-list wish fulfilled when he received a call of encouragement from President Donald Trump died on March 13, his sister said. Jay Barrett was 44.

Barrett had been terminally ill with cystic fibrosis and was receiving palliative care at the home of his sister, West Haven City Councilwoman Bridgette Hoskie. He had asked for some sort of contact with the president before he died.

His sister, Bridgette Hoskie, who describes herself as “100 percent Democrat,” went on social media to help make it happen. Friends and other supporters sent emails to the White House.

The efforts paid off on March 5, when Barrett received a call from Trump.

“Mr. President, through thick and thin, you know there’s been a lot of thicks, and there’s been a lot of thins, I support you,” Barrett said.

Trump told Barrett he’s a “champ,” and that a personal letter was coming his way.

“You’re my kind of man, Jay. … I’m very proud of you,” Trump said. “I’ll talk to you again, Jay, OK? You keep that fight going. We both fight.”

Barrett told the New Haven Register that he also received calls from the president’s son Eric Trump and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regional chief Lynne Patton on March 4.

Patton, who is from New Haven  reached out to the Trump family after a New Haven Register story about Barrett’s wish was posted online.

Eric Trump “told me they’re pulling for me and praying,” Barrett said.

His original goal was to get to Washington to meet the president in person and shake his hand, but he said he was grateful for anything.

Tianna Greene and Jay Barrett
In this photo provided by Bridgette Hoskie, her daughter Tianna Greene and brother Jay Barrett pose for a photo at a cheerleading competition in New Haven, Conn., on March 3, 2019. (Bridgette Hoskie via AP, File)

Hoskie said she appreciated the help of everyone who reached out to the White House on her brother’s behalf.“He really did live one of the best weeks of his life last week,” she said. “That phone call meant everything to him.”

Barrett, who for most of his life considered himself an independent, voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, but said didn’t like many of his polices, including the Affordable Care Act.

Barrett said he came to realize he was a Republican and fell in love with Trump’s style at the launch of his campaign, and later, because of his policies.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press