A man who had been his quadriplegic son's sole caretaker for 12 years died of lung cancer, a week after he apparently helped his son end his life so the young man wouldn't be left alone.

Robert Bergstedt, 64, died Thursday at Nathan Adelson Hospice, said his attorney. He checked into the hospital after his 31-year-old son, Kenneth, died last week.Both deaths came before the Nevada Supreme Court ruled on Kenneth Bergstedt's petition that he be allowed to end his life without threat of legal recourse against anyone who helped him die.

"I think the story of Robert's care of his son is really an epic story of eternal love," Supreme Court Justice Cliff Young said. "If anybody's deserving of being considered for canonization or sainthood, I think Robert would be a nominee."

Kenneth Bergstedt sought to end his life for fear his father, his sole companion, would not be around to take care of him.