Husband removed from life support

My husband has been in hospital in an isolation room since January of this year recieving chemo for MDS (he is 54). After two lots of chemo he contracted an infection that turned into septicemia. Has been in ITU for 10days. The doctors decided that it was best to turn off all life support as there was little improvement.
My youngest son aged 20 was having huge problems with seeing is dad with tubes everywhere so when they took away all the tubes he decided to go and see him. However when we got there his dad was fighting to breath and very agitated. As you can imagine this was a shock to us all. But now my son can not get the image of his dad fighting for breath out of bis head. That was three days ago and we are still waiting for the for my hisband to pass. My son is feeling that he is scarwd to go back to see his dad. Has anyone got any advice for my son to help.him through this xx

Yvonne, I can’t begin to imagine how utterly devastating this is for you and your Son. My Husband was at EOL in Hospital but passed away at home on day of discharge. I wasn’t told when he was still in hospital that he was imminently EOL nor that the symptoms he were experiencing were EOL symptoms. The agitation was one of the worst things so I can understand why you were both very frightened. Could you get a Dr or EOL Nurse to talk through things with you and your Son together privately to give you the opportunity to ask questions? If your post is not seen by the Community Manager it may be worth clicking on the tab on the right to ask if there are any organisations that can help your Son. I didn’t find this site until after my Husband passed away which is a great pity as there is an excellent section dealing with End of Life symptoms and I would have done a lot of things differently. Hospitals sometimes don’t give as much support as they should do in these circumstances. I don’t know if things seem unreal to you, I know they did for me. Remember you need supporting as well, it’s a desperately difficult time. Sending you thoughts of compassion and I hope you get some helpful replies.

Hi Yvonne
My husband passed away on 19th January, he had been battling cancer for 3 years and contracted an infection which he was not strong enough to fight. The last few days of his life are still in my mind, it is hard to forget how agitated he was and how he fought so hard to live. My son is 24 and it was the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen watching him see his dad dying. Just try and support your son whatever he does, it is so hard for you all and my thoughts are with you x

Hi Yvonne,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear that you have had to make such a heartbreaking decision. I’m aware it has been a couple of days since your post - what is your situation now?

As Tina mentioned, we have some resources on death and dying, which have advice from experts at our hospices. These may be helpful if you are still waiting for your husband to pass, as you were at the time of writing.

I’m sorry to hear how your son is struggling - it must be tough trying to support him on top of your own loss. It is understandable that he found it difficult to see his dad like that - has he managed to go back and see him since you wrote this?

We also have some advice on our website about supporting teenagers and young people with grief, which you might find helpful.

You could also give the Marie Curie helpline a ring for emotional support for yourself, or advice on supporting your son - they are there for anyone affected by terminal illness in the family (0800 090 2309).

This site is here for anyone facing the loss of a loved one, and for anyone who has been bereaved, so please do keep posting here if you find that it helps.

Hi all
Sadly my husband finally lost his fight this saturday . Although we miss him horribly it has been almost a relief that he is no longer suffering. As he had been in isolation in hospital since January it was devastating to see him fight so hard but failing to get better. My son has started to talk more about his dad and have been offered councelling by our local Hospice. So I am hoping that we will get through this. I would also like to thank the people that replied. When I was travelling 30min every day to the hospital for 4 months trying desperately to keep him positive but watching him slowly deteriorate. I convinced myself that I was alone in this situation. And had to cope with my own negative thoughts, anger, fear and a feeling of being totaly lost. Privately. Reading the posts made me realise that I was not alone in this situation and that other people have been through this and came out the other side . Thank you so much for xxx

I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds as though the last four months have been incredibly tough and, as you say, your husband is no longer suffering. Now is the time for you to be kind to yourself and take things day by day. Your emotions may well be all over the place, so give yourself a chance to grieve in whatever way you need to.

It is good that your son can talk about his dad a bit more, and I hope that you can, too when you need to. You could also consider the hospice counselling for yourself if you need it at any point.

This online community is still here for you, so please do post in our Coping with the Death of a Loved One section any time that you need to.

Yvonne I am so sorry about the loss of your Husband. There is nothing I can add to Priscilla’s post as it says it all, but I would like to send you thoughts of compassion and wish you and your son’s strength and courage. Kindest regards.

Hi Yvonne I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to ease the pain and you will go through so many emotions in the days and weeks to come. My thoughts are with you x

Hello Yvonne so sorry for your loss cancer is a dreadful disease my wife lost her battle with breast cancer on 21/3/17 after fighting it for 5 years ,the I look at it no more chemo for her no more visits to hospital for the dreaded scan results ,the last five weeks of my wife’s life was very hard on my to kids and I,we looked after her at home ,but I get what you mean by wanting your husbands pain to end I was the same ,but once she passed away I felt so guilty for thinking that .I have son 25 and daughter 19

So sorry for you loss. I totally agree on the guilty feelings. Hope that you and your children find the peace that you truly deserve x

My hubby was in hospital for 5 days before I got the phone call asking me to get there asap,my son and I sat and had the EOL conversation with the drs who were fantastic,then we let family know and my other son made his way to UK from Canada,my hubby struggled all day for each breath,and hung on till my son arrived late that evening dying so very peacefully 3hrs later,this was 8 weeks ago and I still cannot get the pic of him dying out of my head,I know he’s at peace but I cannot accept his death.

Hi Ginny we had to take my Dad of life support on the 7th of July 2017 he died I the early hours of the 8th of July. I’m struggling you aren’t alone I don’t know if that helps. I joined the group today because my Mum cannot accept my Dad’s death and is angry at the world.
The original post helped me in that the original poster was thinking of her son and his grief before her own, it’s made me feel my own grief as a daughter is acceptable.

Original person I hope your son is beginning to work through his grief. The best thing you can do for him is what you are doing which is love him and give him permission to grieve with you. Let him know that his feelings are valid.

Hi Madz,

Welcome to the Sue Ryder Online Community. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your dad. I’m glad that reading these posts has helped you feel that your grief is valid - it absolutely is, and it’s important that you have space to talk about it, whether that’s with friends and family or here on this forum.

It sounds as though your mum is also having a very hard time. Grief affects people in different ways, and anger can be a very common reaction. Is her anger directed towards you?

Perhaps you would find it helpful to start a new conversation on this forum about this issue (or any other issue you’d like to talk about). That way you can find out if anyone else has experienced similar, and how they have coped with it.

If there’s anything I can help with, you can private message me, or email me on

Community Manager