I’m 29 years old and I’m struggling with many aspects of my mother’s partners death which happened on Saturday night. One aspect in particular is guilt.
He had heart failure which was diagnosed following cardiac arrest two years ago. He was told to stop drinking and smoking but he carried on despite me begging him to stop.
A week last Tuesday, I arrived at their home to find him cold to touch very sweaty and short of breath. I phoned for an ambulance and he was diagnosed at the hospital with worsening heart failure, pneumonia and atrial fibrillation. He was put on warfarin and antibiotics and his general water tablets were changed. He was then discharged on 21 September and he was going back and forth to the hospital more or less every day to have the bloods checked on the warfarin.
Then on Saturday 29th I arrived at their home to find him not well again, but he wasn’t in as much distress or discomfort as he was the last time I called 999. He didn’t look well but he was eating, drinking, walking and he was adamant he didn’t want medical help and that he was not in any pain. He was very happy to be at his home and enjoyed a full dinner. I left and his last words to me were ‘dont worry, I am feeling calm, if I feel unwell you’ll be the first to know’.
I then got a phone call at about 9:45 to say that he had been asleep but he was making some very strange noises and his eyes had rolled back and had stopped breathing. Mum has started CPR immediately and ambulance were called. As fate would have it I was about 3 minutes away so I came straight away and took over CPR. Ambulance worked on him for half hour but he’d gone. I believe he went very suddenly.
Is it normal to feel that you could have potentially done more to help? These pangs of guilt are debilitating.