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Sebastian Kern
born July 24, 1850 in Germany
died August 26, 1930 in Elizabeth, NJ

Father: Jacob Kern
Mother: Unknown
Wife: Katherine Schuhmann Bittlingmeier (1856-1925)

Cause of death: Cardiac Decompensation

In medicine, decompensation is the functional deterioration of a previously working structure or system. Decompensation may occur due to fatigue, stress, illness, or old age. When a system is "compensated", it is able to function despite stressors or defects. Decompensation describes an inability to compensate for these deficiencies. It is a general term commonly used in medicine to describe a variety of situations.

Therefore, cardiac decompensation may refer to the failure of the heart to maintain adequate blood circulation, after a long-standing (previously compensated) vascular disease (i.e. heart failure).

Sebastian's death certificate lists Cerebral Arteriosclerosis as a contributory cause to his death. Cerebral arteriosclerosis is the result of thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries in the brain. Symptoms of cerebral arteriosclerosis include headache, facial pain, and impaired vision.

Cerebral arteriosclerosis can cause serious health problems. If the walls of an artery are too thick, or a blood clot becomes caught in the narrow passage, blood flow to the brain can become blocked and cause an ischemic stroke. When the thickening and hardening is uneven, arterial walls can develop bulges (called aneurysms). If a bulge ruptures, bleeding in the brain can cause a hemorrhagic stroke. Both types of stroke can be fatal.

High blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and high cholesterol levels are risk factors for cerebral arteriosclerosis. Sebastian spent six weeks in the hospital before dying, and actually celebrated his 80th birthday there. He was buried with his wife, Katherine, at the Cemetery of the Holy Sepuchre in East Orange, NJ.