Constant sinking feeling

My Dad went into hospital 26th March this year with what he thought was a severe chest infection. After a month or so of tests we finally got answers. He needed a heart valve replacement. As soon as this was figured out it was a matter of urgency and we had to drive to the hospital to possibly say goodbye. Because it was strict Covid restrictions, only immediate family were allowed to go in, and in two’s. My mum and I went in first, then my big sister and younger brother. This was one of the worst days of my life, I held his hand so tight I didn’t want to leave him. To our relief, he survived, the operation went better than they thought. 3 weeks in ICU, and a further 4 weeks recovery and he was home, still a bit fragile but with a new lease of life. He gave up smoking and was so grateful to be here. After no more than two weeks, he fell ill and had to go back- he had an infection in his sternum causing sepsis. He had to stay in hospital again for 4 weeks on antibiotics. The 3rd July, he came home. Mum and I had covid so we couldn’t even be with him. We isolated from everyone and my sister and brother who were double vaxed looked after us. On the 10th my dad fell ill. We thought it was covid but he kept testing negative. He had similar symptoms to what I had- sweats, nausea etc. On the 14th July, I was feeling much better by then. I peeped through the bedroom door to check on my Dad and he looked awful. He was sweating but felt cold, coughing up brown blood. He begged me not to call an ambulance because he didn’t want to go back. I was unsure what to do so I called 111 who sent an ambulance out, I reassured him that it wouldn’t be like last time, and we waved him off. He got in the ambulance at 6pm, we got a call at 11:06pm to say he died at 9:30pm. He died from septic shock which sent him in to cardiac arrest. They couldn’t save him because of his heart operation he had previously. I feel angry that he spent months in and out of hospital (the first 2 months alone as covid didn’t allow visitors), I feel angry that when he came home we wasn’t with him, I feel angry that no tests were done before he was discharged to prevent the sepsis, I feel angry that he died at 9:30 but we wasn’t called till after 11. Why weren’t we called when he took a turn for the worse or as soon as he passed? Was he on his own all that time? What was he thinking in his last hours? Why the months of torment? He was only 47. I’m only 23. He’ll never get to see me land my dream job, meet the man I’ll fall in love with, meet his grandchildren, walk me down the isle. All these things he was so excited for.
Growing up you know this day will come, I just never thought it would be this soon. At least grow old with my lovely mum who he loved so very much since they met at 16. I honestly don’t want to be here but I could never do that to my family. We were all such a tight unit the 5 of us and now it’s so hard. I’m struggling to grieve as my mum cries every night, how do I help her? It’s been 10 weeks and our whole world has crumbled.

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Hello Elle,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder community and I’m very pleased that you have found us here.

I’m so sorry to read about your poor father. He was so young and it sounds as though things are very tough for you at the moment.

I hope that you find the community a good source of support. Everyone here has experienced the loss of a loved one and will understand some of what you are going through. Please keep posting and checking in with us.

Sue Ryder offers an online bereavement counselling service. This is a free service and sessions are held via video chat so you can attend from home. There’s more information about this service here:

Take care,


Online Community team

I know to some degree how it feels watched my own father although pass away however mine was over four years as the cancer took everything that made my dad away. also hard for my own mum who had known and loved this man for over 52 years. His passing has left a great chasm in our lives of which will never be replaced. I does not matter how young or old a person is the grief is the same my thoughts are with you and your family and it will get easier as time passes. my own father has been gone five weeks on Saturday and this day is always difficult.hard too believe that this time last year my father and mother were in there caravan in minehead. all the best look after yourself.

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