Guest Blog Alan Simpson – “For Dad” Charity Night 

This has been a very strange year, I have managed to launch a business idea that’s been brewing for a few years, which has been an extremely satisfying.
However 2015 was the year dad got sick, real sick

Dad had diabetes, which he controlled with diet, but dad was losing lots of weight.

Dad was a farmworker and bricklayer and was always a strong big man, and by Easter was a shadow of the giant he was and it was obvious there was something seriously wrong.

The weight kept coming off and he turned yellow. The family whispered about liver cancer and after many tests in August it was confirmed. Dad had liver cancer and it was to advanced to treat but chemo was to be used to make him more comfortable.

Just a few days later dad collapsed during the early morning and was taken into hospital in an ambulance. He was dealt with love and care in A and E and sent to ICU, where we were told honestly how poorly dad was. The cancer had caused septic shock and was trying to shut his body down. He was hooked up to machines which took over the job of his vital organs – pumping his heart and his breathing – whilst other machines cleaned his blood. We would know more in 8 hours if his body was strong enough to help fight off the shock or not.

We stayed late into the night and early hours of the next day! I am sure we were a bit of a pain, wanting in and out for smokes, teas coffees. We are a big loud family and had to be asked to keep our voices down as we laughed over memories around his bed at stupid o’clock ( sorry other patients).

After the doctors rounds the next morning we were told there was no difference and so decided to switch the machines off.

16 of us, I said there was a lot of us, stood around and watched as dad took his last breath.

The care, respect and generally looking after all of us was nothing less than perfect. From everyone we were in contact with, from a doctor that was going to pay dad’s parking ticket after worrying about his time running out, to A and E staff, porters, reception staff, and the absolute stars in ICU.

David and Charlotte were dad’s personal care staff and truly were amazing, and to be able to do what they did everyday is remarkable. They made a horrible time more comfortable.

It felt only right that as well as the thanks we gave at the time, we should try and raise some money and instead of flowers asked for donations to ICU at the funeral. We raised an epic £500; which was split between the staffing and equipment (mum said “you can’t have one without the other”).

Dad loved his country music and held a number of country music charity nights in his lifetime. It was agreed at the funeral that another charity night was the only fitting tribute but this time for the ICU.

It’s the 13th Nov at the Harraby Catholic Club, with the well known country band Soggy Bottom Boys.

We have asked for, and received many prizes for a raffle from many generous people and business.

*The opinions expressed are the blogger’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Health Innovation Summit.

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