Sunday, 27 August 2017

My Mum Passed Away Recently...

Last weekend, we were camping.

On Tuesday, we went to a Zoo together.

On Wednesday morning, she had tea with my dad at 9am, and got up at 9:30 to take a shower. I was still in bed. Dad went downstairs to make breakfast.

At 10am, she was collapsed on the floor, not responding to voice. I dialled 999, and the operator on the end of the line asked if there was any history of stroke in her family. That one word gave me the most cause for concern.

The paramedics arrived in the ambulance, I stayed around to answer questions. Her pupils weren't responding to light, and her feet weren't responding to touch. I went with her in the ambulance, while Dad drove our car to the hospital.

I was met as soon as I was off the ambulance, and taken to a quiet family room. Dad joined not long after, and we were taken to see Mum. It was here I noticed one of the classic stroke symptoms, her face had fallen on one side. The doctor told us that they were taking her for a brain scan to confirm a stroke diagnosis.

We waited there, and then were taken to the stroke ward, where we were told it was a large stroke. The doctor said they would start her on clot-busting drugs, and another hospital was looking at the scans to see if they thought an operation could help.

Mum was placed in the ward, and though she couldn't talk, there still seemed to be some of her there. The way she turned towards my voice. The way she looked at the nurses when they asked if she was okay, as if to say "do you think I'm bloody okay?" She had a tickle response back in her foot, too.

We left that night to take a break, sleep and eat. I think we both thought that by tomorrow, she'd be in a much better state. I slept surprisingly well, I'm guessing because it had been such a long day.

Dad rung up in the morning and was told that there was no change. He left to pick up a few things from the corner shop we might need, and I got a phone call, from the ward. They said not to worry, but Mum was drowsy this morning, so they'd take her for another brain scan, could we get there sooner rather than later? Of course, we left as soon as we heard.

Got to the ward, and found they had Mum on a ventilator. The consultant saw us immediately, and took us to one of the quiet rooms. He explained that it was a huge stroke, one whole side of her brain was starved of oxygen and blood supply from the outset. Even though we acted so quickly, there was nothing anyone could have done. Overnight, she developed a swelling in her brain, there was nothing else they could do, and this would be a "life-ending event for Mrs Murphy." They gave her a matter of hours.

"WHAT?" I said. "but... she's 65, she's healthy..." and she was, for her age, in fact likely fitter than me. As you can imagine, this news took its time to sink in.

They transferred her to a private room. She held out for most of the day, and I left, Dad staying overnight. My Auntie was going to take me back to the Hospital for 7am. I didn't sleep at all, so at 6am, when I was getting up anyway, I phoned for an update. If anything major had happened, I assumed I would have heard.

"Hi, can I check on a patient, please? ...Lynda Murphy" Silence. "Your relationship?" "Daughter." Long silence. "Would you like to speak to your Dad?" She had passed away minutes before I phoned up. Dad had been planning to go home to tell me.

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