21 October 2013

Resting in Peace

My husband died last Friday morning at 5.30am.
Myself and our two beautiful children were with him.

It was the culmination of two and a half weeks on a traumatic emotional roller coaster - we'd kept a round the clock vigil next to his bed in intensive care during that time.

It all started when he phoned me in the early hours of Monday 20 September - he was in unbearable pain with paralysed legs. The ambulance team were there in a flash.

In the following 5 days he had four major operations - in the second operation his left leg was amputated above the knee, in the fourth one his right leg was amputated just below the thigh.
Before each operation we assured him he'd be fine.
Before each operation the surgeons told us it was unlikely he'd survive.

But he's mighty tough.

I spent over 6 hours sitting with him in the hospital each day after that. Our two children did the same. We all shared the ups and downs while watching him hooked up to the life support machines, the ticking, beeping, monitoring, the dialysis machine, the diabolically fluctuating blood pressure numbers, oxygen levels...adjustments were made to medication flows hourly, we went home exhausted each day and researched the drugs they'd administered, and there were oh so many little victories and disappointments on his way to recovery. He seemed to be getting better each day, more alert, able to smile cheekily and talk a little bit last week.

And the three of us gave him so much love during that time.
We never gave up on him.

Then came the call at 1am last Friday. We all met urgently at the hospital. He was in great pain, couldn't breathe. They couldn't operate. And life support was no longer an option. The pain killers and sedatives worked fast and he faded from consciousness just after we arrived, the intestinal hole leaking out stuff that was fast poisoning him.

It was a full moon morning.

We sat with him for those last 5 hours, holding his hands, watching the life drain out of him, all of us crying as the pauses between his raspy breaths got longer and longer.
I stroked his hair, kissed his forehead, and told him it was all OK, he was safe and we all loved him so much.  But the drugs had already taken him far away.
Then in a moment of great anguish my son leaned over his chest, put his arms around him and sobbing said 'I love you dad'. It was then that he breathed out his last breath.

He fought a mighty battle right to the end.

And now he rests in peace...