Lost my Dad

Have never wrote on one of these forums before but just need to talk with someone who understands what I am going through, sorry this may be a long story.

My dad who I assumed was fine (minus some chest pains he would get on and off from his angina) was taken into hospital 3 weeks ago. I lived with him, but was staying with a friend the day he got taken in.

A week and a half later, a full day went by where he didn’t reply to my phone calls or messages, this was weird as I would talk to him, message him etc throughout the day every day while he was in hospital.

The next thing I know, I have the hospital telling me he is in critical condition and I need to get to the hospital. This came as a complete shock as I had only been talking to him and he seemed fine just over 24 hours ago.

It was when we got the hospital that his doctor informed us that he had a heart attack when he first went in (he chose not to tell us this, even when visiting him in the hospital, he looked absolutely fine) and also they ran some tests on his heart and found out he had bad heart disease and the reason he is in critical condition was because his artery had fully closed due to the disease and he had heart failure.

As he was young (59) they decided to try a procedure to save his life, a procedure that unblocks the artery and places in a stent, but was told that even just moving him downstairs to the surgery could kill him.

I waited around the hospital for 7 hours anxiously awaiting the result. They finally phoned me and said he is back up stairs and the procedure worked well. This gave me a great amount of hope that he was going to be ok.

I am not back at home and just a couple of hours later, i received a phone call again telling me he might not make it through the night due a complication on one of his machines (a balloon pump that helps the heart). It was attached to his artery in his leg and his leg stopped having a pulse and was dying, and if his leg died, he wouldn’t survive it, so I hurried back to the hospital.

The nurse in the ICU told us that it was unlikely his leg would get better, so after a few hours of sitting with him, the nurse told us me should go home and have a rest for tomorrow.

The next day, I go straight back to the hospital, and to my shock, his leg did get better and is fine! I was told he still had a long way to go but he is doing well. Over the next few days, they started to wean him off of the balloon pump to see if his heart could work by itself, this went fine and he was controlling his blood pressure great by himself, again I had hope.

Then they wanted to cut off his sedation (not wake him up) but just to make sure his brain etc is working fine after being sedated for a week. This was harrowing to see, his eyes were open a little even though he wasn’t awake and they done something with his breathing to force him to breath hard, this was not nice to see but still hopefully he is going to be ok after this week long fight he has put up.

The next day at 2am, I am awakened by a phone call again by the hospital, telling me my dad has gotten worse over night and they don’t think he is going to make it through the night. I normally get the train to the hospital as I have no other means, the first train wasn’t until 7am, I sat for 5 hours anxiously awaiting a phone call telling me he had died before I go there, that phone call never came.

I got to the hospital and the doctor took me into her room and told me that taking him off the sedation to see if he could be okay has had a really bad effect on his body and his heart is failing again along with his kidneys, and the ventilator is now doing 100% of his breathing. The only blood pressure he has is what they are making him have and that we should spend some time with him before they turn off the machines. All hope lost again, for like the third time in a week, all I could think was, how can the world be this cruel to me? Give me hope nearly every day just to take it away the next day.

I sat with my dad for a while and then the nurse asked me if I wanted to stay when they turned off the machines and took his ventilator out. I said no and left the room while they did this as at the time i just couldn’t see that, then went back in once he had passed away.

This is one of the main things that is now driving me crazy with guilt. I think now, why did I not stay with him? Hold his hand when his heart took its last beat? I know he was sedated so wouldn’t of known I was there but I just don’t know how Im now ever gonna come to terms with not being there with him in that moment, due to a rational decision I made at the time.

I am 32 and lived with my dad throughout most of my life. (we shared a house, not living under him) as I liked to take care of him (my mum left us when i was a kid) and now just feel so alone and lost. I have a brother who of course shares the same loss, but without sounding selfish, he has his own family and kids, nothing really changes in his life. I lived with him, I seen him every single day, so I feel it’s a lot worse for me (again, don’t want to sound selfish) but at this point, I cant go back to my house and cant even imagine a life anymore without him, never seeing him or hearing his voice again, having to get back to reality at some point and start living myself, just all seems impossible to do.

Anyway, not sure if any one is gonna read that, is a long one but is my story on how my amazing dad fought and came back from the brink of death multiple times during a single week, but had nothing left by the end of it.



My mum had a sudden massive brain haemorrhage 3 years ago and when I arrived at hospital I was told that she was unlikely to survive the night. I sat in the relatives room the entire night and couldn’t face seeing her like that.
People kept telling me to hold her hand and ‘hearing goes last’ blah blah blah, but I just couldn’t do it.

I was so scared to see my mum in that bed when I had dropped her off at hospital just hours earlier, laughing and joking for a routine medical appointment.

I have had many regrets over my decision but I’m at peace with it now. My last memories of mum are of her laughing and waving goodbye. I don’t have the trauma of seeing her connected to life support or holding her lifeless hands.

You made the decision that was right for you at that time. You were in shock and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

In time, you will just remember the good memories and the trauma of the hospital stuff will fade.


1 Like

Thank you for the reply, means a lot.

I saw my dad connected to all kinds of machines, he was on them for a week so I couldn’t not see him, I was visiting to him every day.

Although he was sedated and never awake during that whole week, the regret of leaving during the moment they turned the machines off is somehow overwhelming me. Just in case somehow or some way or another, he would of known if I was there or not, even though again, he was sedated and the machines was all that was keeping him alive at that point.

Again, thanks for the reply


1 Like

Things will get better brendan.

It takes time.

I lost my dad when I was 27 and my mum when I was 48.

Time is the only thing that helps. You will eventually see small chinks of light.

Take things day by day.


1 Like

Sorry to hear that Cheryl, I hope you have done some healing too.

You give me hope that things will get better,

Thank you


I read your message and I hope by writing it down to get it off your chest helped ! I recently lost my dad who was my best friend so I do understand your comments about not thinking life will go on ! My comment about your guilt is you can’t change the past and I am a great believer in things happen for a reason maybe he was showing you how hard he was fighting to stay alive to show you the importance of living a good life. I do hope you find peace and can process everything and move forward even if it’s a step at a time. Thinking about you.


Your dad would totally understand you not wanting to be there while they turned machines off. It’s a traumatic experience and he’d probably have wanted you to do whatever you felt was best at the time for you and that’s exactly what you did and for that he would be so proud of you xx


Thanks Leanne xx

Hi Brendan Firstly I am sorry for your loss, its the worst possible thing that can happen to a person, to lose someone so close to you.
I also recently lost my dad, he had small cell lung cancer & I was with him for 2 days watching him slowly pass away, and it was horrific,
I honestly believe as a parent myself your Dad would completely be OK with you not being there at that point, I was with my Dad & it’s not any easier, if you are there as he took his last breath a tear fell from his eye & that kills me & always will.
Talking is a good thing so please message any time. I take great comfort in talking about my dad

1 Like