I think its true to say that this year has been a particularly hard one, not only for us, but also for lots of other people as well. We started with so much hope and expectation, not much of that came to fruition.
Sadly on the 7th of December Mum passed away. She finally had her repair operation on the 6th of December and on that evening she was uncomfortable but talking to us. They had told us that she was being looked after in intensive care as a precaution. When I left at the end of visiting time, I felt positive, she looked like she needed a good nights sleep, but was with us.
When Dad and I went in the next morning we were met by the ICU Consultant and his team. He explained that overnight they had been having serious problems stabilising her, her heart was racing and blood pressure dropping, they really needed that to be the other way around. They told us that she was at crisis point and they were not sure they would be able to turn things around. We decided to call the rest of the family in, she wasn't fully conscious, but she was opening her eyes and squeezing our hands when we called her.
By the afternoon she was noticeably less responsive, she didn't seem to know we were there. The Consultant said that they were still giving her drugs but they were having no effect her heart rate was climbing and was running at 150/160 bpm . She had an underlying heart condition which had come back with avengence. The Consultant said that at this point the best they could do was make her comfortable and allow her to slip away. It was clear to us that she was not with us, the heart monitor was racing and although she was breathing on her own she was struggling, they were giving her oxygen. From that point it was a very quick 3/4 of an hour before she passed away.
It was pure devastation all around very hard to comprehend how we had ended up here.
My over riding emotion was anger, anger at how she had been treated by the East and North Herts NHS Trust, who had simply failed her when she needed it most. The irony of it all is that the actual fall that lead her to this final situation was an accident, she was adamant it was no ones fault, a pure accident. The previous incident at The Lister Hospital despite being reported was going no where fast until the point where Mum passed away. They have now some 9 weeks later phoned to say that they will invite us in to discuss the outcome of that investigation!!! I have no faith in their ability to investigate themselves, and I have no doubt about the outcome of whatever investigation they have 'carried out' . In the past they have only ever got their act together once we have gone outside to either the National Press or our local MP. So I am not holding my breath.
I am not sure what to do going forward, part of me wants to move on and part of me wants to stand and fight, but I am not sure I have the fight left in me to do anymore of that. I am recovering from a major operation and if I fight them they will close ranks and it won't bring Mum back . I am very very sad that the last months of her life were so unhappy.
So I must try and take the positives from this situation. Mum is no longer in pain and I pray that she is in Heaven with my sister and all the previous relatives that have gone.
I will remember all the positive things and the fun times we had and how her positive influences have shaped me and my family. It has made me determined to live life to the full and not to put things off because its simple one day tomorrow will not come and it will be too late. I will try and do as much as I can now and not live to regret the things I did not do!! I need to gather myself and make some important decisions. I am a child of the 60's which put me and my fellow baby boomers at great risk as once we get to be elderly the NHS will be less equip to deal than it is now.
On the 19th of December we celebrated Mums life at her funeral. We had a lovely Church service at St Bonaventure in WGC. Father Norbert knew Mum, he visited her in hospital and had been the butt of her plain talking (as he called it!!) she had told him a couple of days before her passing that life in WGC was agreeing with him too well as he was putting on a bit of weight!!! Because he knew her the service was personal and a great tribute to Mum. Beth excelled herself, she was the only one brave enough to get up and pay tribute to Mum in the form of a Dear Nan, letter. She was fantastic, although it was an uplifting and funny letter there wasn't a dry eye in the house by the time she finished.
The Church looked beautiful with both Christmas and pink flowers, we had asked people to wear a little splash of pink so Beth said it was obvious looking out at the congregation that people had done so.
Looking back on the day I would say that we did her proud, we made the floral displays so we could use flowers that she loved, we included pink her favourite colour and it felt warm and comforting rather than bleak and upsetting.
We are blessed with fantastic friends and family who all attended the service. They have been so supportive of both me and dad, I have had a steady arrival of flowers and cards over the past weeks. Friends have stepped up to the mark and helped with flowers, cakes, transport and just being there and able to step in when the going gets tough. I can't thank you all enough for all that you have done for our family.
We are hoping for a better 2014, Rest In Peace Mum, you are missed.