Thursday, December 16, 2010


My dad died peacefully on Tuesday 13th December, 4.30 PM. He was 65. It was only the week after his birthday and on his 65th birthday we all went round and he told us (my sister, my mum and I) how proud he was of all us and his four beautiful grandchildren; we talked about lots of things (including the Tibetan book of the dead, Greek legends and all sorts) and it's just such a shock that this would happen because he was really upbeat. We talked about what he would have for his Christmas meal. (He wanted trifle!) I'd just set him up with a new digital recording box for his birthday and he seemed really happy.

He went into hospital Saturday evening with breathing problems, when I rushed in to meet him at A&E (I'd been on a night out so had to get a train and R had stepped in to help him out and persuade him he needed an ambulance) he was struggling but he was also talking about the City game in the afternoon and how crap one of our strikers was. His breathing seemed to settle although he was on O2 he seemed to barely need it. R went to get him some clothes and turn his fire off and at about 11 I left him to get some sleep just before he was moved onto a ward. When I got home the hospital phoned and told me to come back straight away. Shortly after arriving on the ward he had had a massive aspiration into his lungs, and he just never regained consciousness. We kept hoping, but in the end he was just too weak to come back from this trauma. In a way I think it's what he would have wanted, he hated being in hospital, he didn't want to end up in a home, and he kept his independence to the end, which at times was a real battle for him.

My dad had Myotonic Dystrophy; it wasn't diagnosed until he was 50. it's a form of muscular dystrophy and it was complications from this that led to his death. He had had his ups and downs with depression in the last five years due to becoming more and more housebound as the illness began to restrict his mobility and limit his ability to eat. In fact this year I was giving him half my Scandishakes (he was on Ensures as well) to help him keep his weight up. We talked about tube feeds and neck operations but he was too old and stubborn, he didn't want anything like that.

His mind was so sharp, he was a clever guy, a funny guy and he loved life. I hope the ongoing genetic research can one day eliminate awful, horrible, unfair conditions like this.

Mum and dad got divorced when I was 18 but after it had all blown over they stayed good friends and for the last years she helped with his shopping every week and they'd have a good natter.

I'm going to miss him loads and I'm really sad but I think he'd rather we remembered the happy times and I think he enjoyed life; he had great friends, family. He had two great jobs. He was a genius at micro chips/silicon chips. With his jobs / holidays he got to travel the world, he visited every country in Europe and most states in America. he got to ride the pacific highway from LA to San Francisco. He lived in Manchester and London, in London he lived in Caterham in a lovely house near the south downs with fox cubs at the bottom of the garden.

Love you dad.



Gemma said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad, I'm happy though that you think he would have been happy with the way he passed away. I'm so sorry it's happened at this time of the year, he sounds like he was a great guy. Thinking of you and your family xx

Tori said...

I'm sad to read this!! Sending all you guys massive hugs and loads of love at this hard time and over the festive period.

Love V xx

Shona said...

I found your blog from a google alert I have for Myotonic dystrophy. I am really sorry to hear about your dad.

I have Myotonic dystrophy too and am trying to have a baby without passing it on using PGD. Myotonic dystrophy is such a horrible illness, I haven't got bad symptoms yet but my grandad has. He is very poorly at the moment. He is also house bound and can't swallow properly so is really thin.


Woody said...

Tori and Gemma - Thanks. We're gonna miss him, but I think in a way he was ready to move on.

Shona - Hi, thanks for the kind words. I didn't know you do PGD with MD; I did PGD for CF back in 2000. I'll follow your blog and just wanted to say good look with your second PGD.

Shona said...

Hi Woody,

yes you can have it for MD. The list of illnesses it can help grows all the time.

I hope your pgd was successful.