Today’s blog post is about a personal story that happened several years ago but is still hard for me to talk about. The reason why I have decided to share it with you, though is because it taught me a lot and hopefully will help support some of you who may be going through a hard time.
The things it taught me are:
1) Family are the most important thing in the world. Make the effort to spend time with them
2) You are stronger than you think
3) Knowledge is power, research and learn as much as you can so you're ‘in the know’
Casting back seven years (it’s scary it’s been that long) to my first year of University I made my usual phonecall home to mum and dad, however, this time I got a different response to the happy, bubbly hello I usually get. At the exact time I called my family were at home waiting for an ambulance because they suspected my dad was having a heart attack. As you can imagine I was filled with panic but I was stuck at University which although wasn’t a massive distance away wasn’t around the corner either. That’s pretty much all I remember from that phonecall, the shock and panic of finding out and the rest is a blur until I was pacing the hospital corridor with my brother as they tried to discover what was happening.
On arrival my dad was given a blood thinning drug due to them thinking he was having a heart attack but this in fact made things 100 times worse because he was actually haemorrhaging so escalated everything to the point where he actually needed 52 pints of blood within a very short space of time. In hindsight I guess you could say this is down to hospital negligence so maybe we could have contacted a company such as Leo Claims to see if they could help but we didn’t pursue it further.
The doctors had no idea what was going on and neither did we but and the days seemed to pass so quickly without us making any progress and over this time we got more and more worried. Eventually after scans the surgeons decided they needed to operate in order to try and find out what was causing the bleeding, however, due to my dad having previous operations that was extremely risky. Unfortunately the time they took me and my mum aside to tell us we have just five minutes to say goodbye because the likihood of my dad getting through it was so slim is still at the front of my mind and something I hate thinking about. I don’t know how we stayed so strong to walk back into that room and watch my dad be carted away but we did it because we had to keep him calm.
I have managed to block to small details of this difficult time from my mind so the next thing I remember is sitting in the back of my brothers car being driven to his house and us all sitting in the garden waiting to hear something from the hospital. The operation went on for hours and hours and because they wasn’t exactly sure what they were going to find they had no idea exactly how long it was going to take. Eventually we got the call we were all waiting for. The operation was over and had been a success. Everything had gone well and my dad was in recovery but would be moved into the High Dependency Unit and sedated as he had to have time to recover properly and slowly. I cannot describe how it felt to have that news and all we wanted to do is get down the hospital as soon as we could to see my dad.
Thankfully, it wasn’t too long and we were allowed, two by two to enter the HDU and see my dad. It was terrifying to see him in a mask covered by tubes and being surrounded by machinery but it was also a comfort to see him. The consultants told us they had discovered two stomach ulcers which had burst and that was causing the pain and bleeding but it had all been repaired.
We weren’t quite out of the woods yet, though. My dad was monitored 24/7 by his own nurse and the following day was woken up. It was amazing to see him awake and speaking! After spending some time in HDU my dad was moved to intensive care and then finally to a normal ward before being able to return home, however soon we would be going through a similar experience again.
During the next week we noticed my dad wasn’t eating, he couldn’t get out of bed and wasn’t well at all. After just a week he was rushed back into intensive care (a different hospital) and was suffering from septicaemia as he hadn’t been given antibiotics for a kidney infection he had developed in hospital. It was heart breaking to see him back in intensive care but thankfully he slowly recovered and was eventually allowed back home, for good!!
Even though this all happened years ago, this blog post turned out to be much harder to write than I expected. I find it easier to talk about now but what happened really affected me as it was a very scary experience but we have now come out the other side and as a family are closer than ever. At the same time as all of this happening I was also in the middle of my end of year exams at uni so I had to keep travelling from uni to home to the hospital which were all in completely different locations. I have absolutely no idea how I managed to pass those exams let alone get a first at my end of my degree but it proves… you are definitely stronger than you think!
Thank you to everyone who helped save my dads life. I will forever be grateful.
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