My father had always been a successful and hard working man. He had never been sick in his life except for a few colds. He was a healthy man. He was 57 years old since a few days when it happened.
August 17th 1996, my father was doing some chain sawing at the family cottage. He and my mother were preparing to come back to Montreal because my brother's girlfriend was about to give birth. At 3:00pm he told my mother he would go inside for a little nap because he had a headache. My mother went in at about 3.30pm and found him lying in the bathroom. He was hardly breathing, unconscious and had vomited.
Since the cottage is a little far from civilization, she did not call 911. A neighbor helped her put my father in the car. He was still unconscious. At the nearest village an ambulance was available so they got him to the nearest hospital. It was in Magog.
Magog hospital thought it was an infarction. They did not have a scanner and decided to move him to Sherbrooke Hospital. That is when she called me. It was about 4:00pm. She said she found him on the floor and that he had an infarction. She said he was breathing and his heart was beating but he was still in coma. She would call me back when they got to Sherbrooke Hospital.
At that time I was alone with my 8 month old son. It was the longest half hour of my life. The phone rang again at 4:30pm. It was my uncle. He was very calm. He told me the scanner revealed a brain aneurysm. A massive one. The brain was dead or would be permanently damaged if he lived.
I had talk to my brother at 11.30am, his girlfriend was about to give birth and of this was happening. Felt like in a nightmare. We had to wait to tell him about our father. He knew nothing before the healthy boy came at 6:30pm. He got out of birth room at the hospital, full of joy from seeing his first child. He took his mobile phone to call us to announce the news but before doing so, he took his messages. There was an urgent message from my other brother saying something had happened to my father and to call us ASAP. Another big news for him.
At that time my other brother and I were en route to Sherbrooke. An hour ride from Montreal. Then my mobile phone rang. It was my uncle again. He said it was over. My father was dead. It was so sudden.
At 5:00 I was on the road to go see my father on his death bed. Purgatory... Seeing him with all those plugs was a shock. He was on a respirator, and his eyes were semi open. He was dead. The aneurysm was too massive. No operation could save him. We had to make a decision about pulling the plug; stopping the respirator, and the intravenous liquids. After a few hours of discussion, and when the new father, my brother, arrived, we pulled the plug and decided to donate his organs ... It was 12:00 am.
We all got to the cottage for the night. I was so anxious for my mother's future. Everything changed in just a few hours. I inspected the bathroom floor and tried to imagine what he was doing when it happened. Outside, the sky was full of stars and there was a lot of shooting stars. I could not believe what had happened that day. My younger brother had had a son and his father passed away at a few hours difference. My father never saw the boy.
My father hated to go to the doctor but we knew he had high blood pressure. He had little short term memory problems and his hands were shaking. But beside that he had never been sick. He had some headaches but nothing serious.
All this to tell you that life can go very fast and we don't always choose the moment.