Sudden death of my father

My father was a composer from Russia and a poet and translated poetry. HE WAS 71 and suddenly contracted covid while at home in st.albans. he was. Ot admitted to hospital on 2 occasions and told to take paracetamol. He then was admitted when It was too late and died within 2 weeks on the 9th of april 2020. I feel the NHS should have done much more than fail to deal with this. Upon his last day I was not allowed in the ward and was not given a chance to see exrays to this day. ALL Members of myfamily are devastated. My Father emigrated to this country to be safe away from corruption I’m russia and had contributed to the uk by teaching at keele university goldsmiths university and st John’s college cambridge. He benefited the music world and the literary world and helped many musicians to learn orchestration and composition. He had an international career in music promoting british culture and russian musical heritage globally. This lack of efficiency and communication is utter disgrace and treason.

Philip Firsov

Dear Philip, I am so sorry to read about your beloved dad. Like your dad, my dear dad also died of Covid-19 in April. Like your dad, he had been admitted earlier, but was then discharged with antibiotics, until it got worse, and was then readmitted. Like you, I am totally devastated. Our parents came to this country for a better life, to get away from things like the corruption and lack of accountability in their countries, but unfortunately, the current government doesn’t seem much better. I have a serious lack of faith in any public inquiry. I read about your dad on Wikipedia, he was a very talented man.

1 Like

I am truly sorry to hear about your loss, Philip. To suddenly lose such a great man to COVID is a terrible tragedy.
I can understand your general disappointment with the NHS. I have lived in two other European countries that, in my experience, both provide a better standard of public healthcare.

I lost my own father two weeks ago to lung cancer. He was treated in a different European country, in a hospital where many rich people from all over the world choose to send their family members. And even there, miscommunication, delay and inefficiency regarding his cancer care happened. Maybe some contributed to his death.
I am not saying at all that mistakes and lack of care should be excused - nor am I trying to diminish the pain this must cause you and your family. I just thought I would share my thoughts on what has helped me accept what happened to my father. Just in case it helps you find some comfort:

I myself work in a role that seeks to help and protect public goods. Every day, I have to come to terms with the fact that the service I can give falls short of what would happen in ideal circumstances, what I would like to see happen myself - because I do not have enough money, staff, time and energy to make it happen. Some powerful forces have, for many decades now, spoken ill of public services at large and systematically defunded them. To maintain the quality of public goods we all want requires a sustained effort of civic society and a sustained investment by every citizen. I don’t believe my father’s doctors were malign and neglectful, I think they were doing their best under very difficult, stressful circumstances. But when those circumstances involve a global pandemic and not enough money and staff, doing their best still means mistakes happen that may cost someone’s life.
The treason was not committed by the hospital staff, but by the people who tell us a society’s surplus should not be invested in public goods for all, but should be given to those already rich and powerful from where it then supposedly ‘trickles down’.


Great post. I can write an essay on how trickle down economics doesn’t work, and how austerity and the public apathy towards it has resulted in a health and care system that is unfit for purpose, resulting in countless deaths, but I’ll probably get accused of being too political, so I better not say anything.

So sorry about your dear dad.


What a lovely person you are, your posts are compassionate, wise, thoughtful and supportive.
Your dad would be so proud of you that amongst your own grief you are helping others. You truly are a wonderful legacy for your dad.
This country is sadly lacking when it comes to the subject of death. It’s brushed under the carpet as if the very word is contagious. I understand budget restrictions and lack of resources but our NHS has lost its way in terms of care, end of life and compassion and especially to the elderly. If you do not have the passion and commitment in nurturing and preserving life then you are not right for the job. I saw too much when observing my dad in the final journey of his life on a hospital ward and it’s heartbreaking and causes so much trauma to those left behind. Every life deserves a good death no matter what


Dear Phillip, I am so very sorry for your loss, words can’t describe how you and your family must feel, I am truly sorry for everything that happened to your father and the way he suffered in the end, COVID-19 has a helluva lot to answer and I understand how you feel although my loss wasn’t a parent but it was nonetheless devastating, I hope you find some comfort here, we are all here to listen, to help and to send a virtual hug should you find you need one even when you don’t realise that you do.
Take care Phillip xx

1 Like

I am so sorry for the loss of your father. The way you describe him sounds like he was a very talented and artistic man and you must feel very proud of him and he of you.
It is very early days for you in terms of grieving, i.e numbness, shock and the trauma and heartache of losing a loved one. Further along in your grieving process you may be strong enough if you feel it is the right thing to do, to make a complaint to the hospital about the treatment your father received. Nobody should have to go through this and feel the patients needs were not met. So many people go through this but haven’t the strength to make a complaint because being bereaved is exhausting without additional stressors adding to it. However, hospitals need to be bought to task about these kind of issues to ensure no other families have to go through this. Take care

Dear @LynT, thank you for your kind words. Your dad would be very proud of you too.

Sadly, you’re correct about the lack of kindness in the NHS by many staff, you only find out about it when you actually have to access the services. It was always my belief that people were treated with so much kindness, when my dad was put in the pallative care ward in hospital, I was totally shocked to see the way the doctor was speaking to an elderly man. This was in front of everyone, he might have been senile and have difficulty understanding, but you can still speak to him in a loud, kind voice, this doctor was barking at him, it made me so sad. Unfortunately, much to my disappointment, this wasn’t an exception, I saw a nurse treat another elderly man in a similar way, how could they, it is beyond comprehension. It makes you dread that if this is what they’re doing on a ward in front of everyone, what happens when it is just them and the patient?