My late father, age 65 died recently on September 28 2003. All of us were very sad and could not hold back tears to believe that my dear dad has finally passed away. His death was unexpected as he was quite cheerful and active jogger before. All the drama ended just like that, and mom and I were lost for words of what to say to each other except to cry. Our whole families, mom, brothers and sisters were beside and everyone had their last word with dad.
It was a fateful 28th September morning. One day before, my father was admitted since as doctor advice him to opt for heart bypass first. He had 3 arteries 40% blocked and general procedures is to strengthen his heart before operating on the 7cm AAA. We went to the hospitals with high enthusiasm and expectations that my dad would nevertherless pull through since he never shows any symptom of heart attack or chest pain.
Two days before his admission, he had complained of back pain but my dad came back telling us that doctor diagnose it as normal back pain and nothing to do with AAA (I doubt doctor would say that to AAA patient as my dad might be trying to hide the truth that he don't want us to worry OR the doctor might be trying to escape responsibility knowing that my dad is going to die that he do not want to tarnish his image on failing the operation).
His admission on 27th September was just like another Saturday family trip. We had breakfast together before the admission as to calm down my dad that everything would be fine. We visited dad again on Saturday evening and he was relaxed as usual, though I know deep down he is worried. On Sunday morning 28th September at 1:00am, I receive a call and at that point I knew something is not right. Hospital nurse told me that my father has fainted but anyway he was under ICU and everything is under control. We rushed to the hospital and saw there my dear dad lying on the bed, contrary to earlier on he was so healthy. We had a few kind words with him and he was nodding his head but too weak to speak.
The doctor silently told us that my father has an impending AAA rupture but they would monitor him until everything is back to normal. At 4:00am, the AAA ruptured and next thing is they are arranging for the vascular surgeon to conduct emergency operation. While waiting, they injected him with morphine and other pain killers with regular supply of bloods and platelet. The hospital that my dad admitted into, is specialise in heart surgery but not vascular. We had no other choice but to sign for the surgery go ahead as it was do or die.
From the point of rupture, we waited for more than 4 hours until vascular team arrive. The delay was my dad could not be send to the hospital that performs AAA because all the beds was full and they are running out of ICU facilities. Finally, all the needed surgery equipment was brought to the hospital with the vascular team. The doctor had earlier told us that surgery is 50-50 survival, whereby possible death would be caused by ischaemic heart attack after reattaching the ruptured aorta.
The surgery lasted 3 hours and our prayers were there throughout the procedures, alas the bad news came. The vascular surgeon told us the aorta was successfully reattached, unfortunately my father's heart was too weak to withstand the post-surgery. The team could not revive him and he was confirmed dead. It was the worst day in my life and the next thing that I asked the doctor whether my father died partially due to the delay in responding to emergencies? The doctor was defensive blaming that my father's heart was not strong enough but as a person who regularly jogs, how can he not withstand such procedures? The delay might have weakened his heart further. This is still a question mark and it remains and I will find out the truth one day, no matter what.
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