Peace at last

I am sorry to tell you that Adrian’s dad, Derrick, is no longer with us, he passed away on Monday.

This photo shows him on a trip out from the hospital after his stroke in 2008, being spoiled rotten by some of the Graphicus girls.  He had been home with the physiotherapists to assess his care needs at home and Adrian brought him to the office to see everyone as a special treat.  After weeks in hospital, you can see how thrilled he was to have escaped for a day.

He had another stroke on January 1st 2010 and spent months in hospital.  Over the next two years he went through shingles, cellulitis, c-diff, a hiatus hernia, a broken rib, a broken pelvis and so many bouts of pneumonia and pleurisy that we lost count.  He was on palliative care once last year with pleurisy when his rib was broken, but he confounded the doctors and pulled through.  Back in July this year we were told he wouldn’t survive the weekend and again, he promised us he would.

He then developed acute pancreatitis and the hospital team did everything they could, but knowing he could not survive surgery, they offered Derrick the chance to go home and spend his remaining time in his own home with his wife and family around him.

When he arrived home last Monday, he was still full of fighting talk, but as the week wore on, we could see the light going out.  He spent his last week in his own home with a wonderful team of carers and district nurses who kept him pain free and as comfortable as possible.

Adrian was with him at the very end, holding his hand and talking to him and I know it means a lot to him that he was there to tell his Dad that it was ok to go, that he would take care of his mum and that everything was going to be just fine.

I know that many of you have followed Derrick’s story here on the blog, and will be saddened by this news.  We have been so grateful for all of your kindness and heartfelt messages in the past and even though he never really understood the mysterious workings of the Internet or blogs, Derrick always understood that there were people out there who were rooting for him and he always asked me to say thank you.

The funeral will be taking place next Thursday and in preparation for that, we have set up an online donation page in Derrick’s memory.  The charity to benefit is the PSP Association because Derrick’s dearest wish would be to find a cure for his wife’s illness.  If anyone should feel inclined to make a donation (and this is NOT a request at all) there is a link below.

Adrian and I would just like to send out our warmest wishes and supportive thoughts to anyone else out there who is caring for a sick or frail loved one – it’s not easy, but the reward is the quiet internal truth of knowing you did everything you possibly could.

Farewell Derrick and rest in peace.