WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A terminally ill Connecticut man who’s a big supporter of President Donald Trump is getting a bucket list wish fulfilled, with help from his Democratic sister.
Jay Barrett, of West Haven, who has cystic fibrosis, left the hospital to begin palliative care at his sister’s home last weekend and asked for some sort of contact with the president before he dies.
His sister, West Haven City Councilwoman 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 Tuesday night when Barrett, 44, 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 is 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 Monday.
Eric Trump “told me they’re pulling for me and praying,” Barrett said.
Patton, who is from New Haven, said she’s coming to Connecticut on Saturday to give Barrett a signed gift from the president. She also reached out to the Trump family after a New Haven Register story about Barrett’s wish was posted online.
Barrett, who for most of his life considered himself an independent, voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, but 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.
His original goal was to get to Washington to meet the president in person and shake his hand, but he said he’s grateful for anything.
Even though he’s supposed to have only six months to live, Barrett said he intends to be around to vote in 2020.
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