A late night call

My biggest fear has always been receiving a call in the middle of the night and someone on the other side is telling my that father is dead. So when my phone rang at 1:45 last week Tuesday morning I can’t say I was very surprised, after all, I had been expecting it.

It was my sister saying that my father had taken a turn for the worst and we needed to go the hospital. I made it to his bed and 2:05 and everything was chaotic. He was surrounded by a team of nurses and doctors and those dreaded pipes were back in nose and mouth.

The doctor took me aside and explained to me what was happening. My dad’s blood pressure had been steadily dropping and he was struggling to breathe. His kidneys had failed, his heart was skipping beats and his lungs had filled with water. They had given him adrenaline to try and increase his blood pressure but it wasn’t working. All they could do was give him morphine to make sure that he was comfortable and hope that the extra meds that they were giving him would make a difference by morning. The doc invited us to stay by his bedside as long as possible.

That night seemed to go by in a flash. My two sisters, my mum, my aunt and I took turns praying for him and sitting in the waiting room. the sun eventually rose and my dad’s heart rate had dropped to 98. By that time they had switched of the alarms on the machines, they wouldn’t stop beating.

The doctor came to check up on him at 8:30 and he confirmed what we already knew. My father’s organs were failing and his heart was giving out. He wouldn’t make it through this and we had till the end of the day before his heart stopped beating completely. Hearing those words still didn’t prepare me. Knowing someone was going to die and actually having them die were two different things.

We went back to the comfort room, all of us in shock. Just a few hours from now and we’d no longer have a father. My sisters and my aunt decided to go home and freshen up. My mum was going to get something to eat but I refused to leave. Just as she was arguing me the nurse called us back.

We walked to his bed and the curtains were closed around it. I looked up at his monitor and his heart rate was at 45. The nurse told us to say our good byes as he was on his way out. I called my sister and told them to come back Now. A few seconds later it dropped to 25.

I had just enough time to grab his hand and tell him that I loved him and that he would be ok when his heart stopped. From 25 to 0. Just like that. No spluttering, no drama, just a flat line. He was gone. On 24 November at 9:34, a bright and sunny Tuesday morning, he died. My father, my light, my hero and my defender was not there anymore. I was holding a shell.


5 thoughts on “A late night call

  1. Sincere sympathies and condolences. It is hard, indeed, to lose a parent – after all, they have been part of one’s life for all of it unless circumstances have caused separations. And father/daughter bonds can be particularly strong.

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