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Rob

Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 29
Brief Outline: At 32 weeks through her third pregnancy, Rob's wife was diagnosed with placenta praevia and was hospitalized for the rest of her pregnancy. During a planned caesarean Rob's wife haemorrhaged and doctors performed a hysterectomy to save her life. Their baby was taken into special care.
Background: Rob is now a house-husband, and lives with his wife and three daughters. White British.

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Rob and his wife were expecting their third child. Their first two daughters had been born by caesarian sections, the first an emergency, the second planned, 16 months apart. Their third daughter was due 19 months after their second daughter.
 
When his wife was 32 weeks pregnant, she started to bleed and went into hospital for a check. Investigations showed that she had a grade 4 placenta praevia, and she was kept in hospital for the last weeks of her pregnancy. Although she lived very close to the hospital and was allowed out for occasional short visits, she was separated from her two young daughters for over 6 weeks. Her stay in hospital was difficult. She continued to bleed every 2-3 days and lost a lot of blood, before the doctors felt that the baby was strong enough to be delivered.
 
Rob’s wife was told she was going to have to have a general anaesthetic for the delivery, which worried her, although neither of them were warned that the delivery might result in a haemorrhage or hysterectomy. She wrote letters to her family and made sure that her father was going to be with Rob during the birth. The operation went badly, the baby had to go to special care, and his wife haemorrhaged. The doctors had to be perform a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding and she was taken to intensive care (ITU), where she stayed for several days.
 
Rob was deeply shocked by the experience of finding his daughter in neo-natal intensive care, and seeing his wife in ITU, gravely ill. After several days on ITU, his wife pulled through. Their daughter was fine, and is now 5. But life was very difficult for the family after Rob’s wife came home. She was debilitated for a long time from her surgery, and Rob was working and looking after his wife and three children, with little support. He suffered a breakdown a few months later and developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He described a very difficult phase of their lives during which he suffered depression and lost his job. He was offered no support from the GP and neither of them have received any counselling to help them come to terms with their traumatic experiences. 
 
 

Seeing his wife in intensive care, was for Rob 'the beginning of the end'. He later had a breakdown.

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But my wife’s care on the other hand couldn’t have been any further from it, you know, so. So blimey. So I went back down in the end. Well when I say in the end I was upstairs for a bit, and then I went down to find out what was going on. And that moment was the beginning of the end. Because further down the line, jump a bit, I did have a breakdown, diagnosed with post traumatic stress, which prior to having it, I didn’t actually believe was a real thing. You know, and I had depression as well and agoraphobia. A few little things you know.
 
But, but the… but the beginning of the end, you know, the beginning of that coming, was when I went back down to see, and find out what was going on, they said, well they’d finished everything they could do here, they’d got to take her over to Intensive Care. Because they just haven’t got the facilities that they need here, and they just can’t… They managed to stop the bleeding but they had to ring a surgeon who was in surgery, in the main hospital, get him out of that surgery and get him over here to sort her out and he used some special packing stuff which they use on [um] on the battle front, some special stuff to stop the soldiers bleeding. I don’t know what it’s made from, but that’s what they used on her, because they said it was like, you know, like a gun wound or whatever, you know, the bleeding, they couldn’t stop. So they did this stuff with this surgeon who was, you know, they called him out of another operation to come over. So that again told me you know, how serious, you know, again thinking back to all the conversations, we don’t induce women just because they’re tired. You know, we’re not doing that for this, you know. We’ll let you go two weeks overdue, and here I am getting all this news. Do you know what I mean?
 
Two weeks, if, you know, two weeks over, we asked about two or three weeks before, you know, five weeks ago, all this could have been prevented, you know, however much the placenta grew in, five weeks is a long time in baby growth. Because [third daughter] had even had the injection to make her lungs ready to be born before the due date, they had even done that, and the doctor still said, “No.”  
 
You know, so I was thinking five, you know, we could have, we didn’t even need, we didn’t even need to be here, didn’t need to be here at all. So anyway… and then they said, “Do you want to go and see her, before we get the ambulance to take her over?” And yes, yes, I said, “Yes.” 
 
And then it came [laughs], the nurse said, “Right you can come in but bear in mind she’s got lots of wires and tubes and things. So obviously because she’s had this emergency surgery. And when you go in there,” she said “Just remember that the hearing is the last thing to go.” And then shut the door behind me. 
 
And I’m in the room alone and this nurse just said, “The hearing is the last thing to go.” You know, and… and she had like, I would say about ten or fifteen wires in her. I mean she had about ten coming out of her neck, and machines and everything. And you know what I mean, it’s just, you know, it doesn’t look nothing like it does in Casualty. Do you know what I mean? [laughs] No. But honestly it was horrific, absolutely horrific. And… and I couldn’t speak, not a word came out, not anything. I stood there just dumbstruck at what I was looking at. You know, my beautiful wife just, you know, dead. Because of the nurse, you know, hearing is the last thing to go. You know, what else are you going to, what else are you going to think, you know. And she wasn’t dead, than
 
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Rob's wife, had a grade 4 placenta praevia and started bleeding regularly through her pregnancy....

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D’you know, just, the whole thing, just beggars belief with me really. I mean honest to goodness it’s just like, or something, back… because if we had [third daughter] in January [pause], I think about November, I think it was my wife started bleeding and she was quite poorly. So she pretty much spent every day in hospital. But because we live like a stone’s throw away from the hospital, and because she's not very well in herself. She’d been in the hospital so many times, she knows a few nurses and stuff, so, they said, we could go home, because we lived just round the corner. But you have to come back every day, have your iron, have this, have that and then we’ll let you go home at night. Because there were the two other kids and they were only tots themselves. So she was allowed to go home. But they said, “If you’d have lived another 200 yards further you’d have been in.” You know, she was an in and out patient.
 
So since November she was in and having needle after needle and test after test and this, that and the other. And you know, and she just poked and prodded and just mucked about. And then they found eventually that she had this placenta praevia or something. That’s it, placenta praevia.
 
So she had that they said. But you know, the way they kind of said it was like it wasn’t really a, it wasn’t really anything, you know, it’s something they need to look at, but you know, it did, you know, whatever … I mean obviously she would have known more than me, but I, I didn’t, from what they were saying, it didn’t sound like it was anything they needed to worry about. Need to keep an eye on it, but you know, and then she got worse and worse and more bleeding and stuff. 
 
And you know, and then the placenta praevia was getting worse and worse and eventually she had something like a grade four or something, which is basically as bad as it can be. And that’s when they sort of started saying, “Look, you know, the problem with this grade four, is to get baby out, they have to go through the placenta, that’s the only way to get baby out, because of where it is, and the size of the bloody thing.” But it wouldn’t, they wouldn’t go… they wouldn’t like induce her, or give her surgery before, because you know, we were over then. 
 
 
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Rob felt that communication with health professionals about his wife's placenta praevia was ...

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They said, from what I can remember, they said that the placenta that should be at the back or at the side or something is now covering the exit hole but because she had a grade four, not only was it covering that, it was covering, it was up all over the front. So basically rather than being at the back and sides where it should be, so it was covering the exit and its come right over the front. So, there was no way she could have the baby naturally, but also there was no way that they could get the baby out, without going through it. Because it’s just in the way. And then obviously placenta is the bit that keeps the baby in and it’s all full of blood and substance, you know, so it’s all a bit complicated and it would take a bit longer than the ten minutes it would normally, normally do. But they didn’t seem like it was going to be a massive problem. It’s an issue and something they’ve got to be careful with, but it wasn’t like they said, look this is heavy stuff, you know, this could potentially happen because of this. You know, they did say, “It has gone through it, you know, we have to be really careful blah, blah, blah.” But you know, I don’t honestly remember them saying, this is serious you know, this could happen or that could happen, you know, they just said, “We have to take a bit more care, and it might take a bit longer, you know, she might lose a bit more blood than previous.” But it was all a bit…
 
You see now I’m a guy who likes to be told straight you know, whether it be good or bad news I like to know exactly what’s what. I don’t like it all sugar coated. And I kind of like the feeling of you know, in hindsight looking back now, it was all a little bit don’t you worry, you know, it might be a little bit this, and a little bit that, but it was all a little bit kind of, a bit sugar coated really. Not, you know, if they’d just come out and said, “Look when we go through, the potential is there that she could die.” Or, “You could lose the baby.” Or, you know, “She’s just going to bleed and we might be in there for two hours.” Because she was in there for nearly two hours in the bloody operating room in the end. You know, if they’d have said that, you could kind of get your head round it.
 
 
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Rob's wife had placenta praevia, and their daughter was sent to special care after she was born....

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So, and then she said, “Well you can come and see her. We’ve got to take her up to  NICU.” And that, bloody Thor hit me over the head with a hammer then, she’s just said that and now I’ve got to go up there. What’s wrong with baba like you know? And she said we’ve got to take up to the… you can come and see her if you like, before they take her up.”  
 
So they come out the theatre with her all wrapped up. I mean she was proper wrapped, about twenty blankets and just about see her little face and they kind of showed her to me, and then nurse just ran, like because the NICU is upstairs so she just ran right up the corridor like and I said, “Look, well what’s…” You know, and I was stood there like, “What shall I do, you know? What happens here now?” I mean, you know, and I can’t… again it’s all a bit blurry.
 
But they kind of said there’s nothing you can do here, so you might as well go with your babe, you know. So I went up. Followed the nurse up. Me Dad came… My wife’s Dad was with me. So we went upstairs and we went to go in, and they wouldn’t let us see [third daughter], because they had to set her up with the incubator and whatever, you know. And they said, “Well….” You know, I stopped someone and I said, you know, “Well what’s going on?” I said, “Honestly I don’t know, you know, they’re dealing with her down there. I don’t know.” And they put her in one of these incubator things. And eventually they let us see her after about ten minutes and she had a few tubes in and stuff and you know, because she wasn’t breathing properly. And I’ve since found out she had to be resuscitated a couple of times, because they’d given her so much bloody medication it knocked baby out. So from what I can understand she was stillborn, but they managed to bring her back, and then she went again and they brought her back and that’s why they took her upstairs quick, because she was on oxygen and she had a little tube in to do something or whatever. 
 
You know, but the NICU staff they’re just amazing. Honest to goodness there’s the most amazing team of doctors and nurses I have, I mean honestly, you know, you, unsung heroes. People say oh you know, this, that and the other, but that’s what they were. I mean honest to goodness they was amazing. They couldn’t give me enough information. Even if I said, “What does that red button mean?” They would, they would tell me, I wouldn’t just get, in a minute. Even though they had all these other little babas to look after and some of them was just the size of your pen, some of them was tiny. You know, but they had time. If you asked a question, they answered, you know, whatever, you wouldn’t get brushed aside. They always had five minutes for you. And no question was, no question was too much trouble. However serious or however little it was, you know, they would answer it, and, and at no point did I ever worry about my baba once she was on that ward. Not once. And she was on there eight days. I think in the end she was up there for. But at no point did I ever worry about her, because they up there was amazing. I was allowed to go and see her. I think… when I wasn’t with her I was there. You know, I think, you know, if I went up there three, four o’clock in the morning a couple of times, just sat there holding her, not a problem, you know, it wasn’t too much trouble. It wasn’t nap time, it wasn’t this, do you know what I mean, it was whatever you want, you know. 
 
 

Rob described how he and his wife managed in the weeks after she was discharged. He had to nurse...

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So tell me what it was like to come home with her still in a lot of pain and baby and…?

 
Do you know a lot of this is a blur. I remember that really clearly and then, then it becomes a bit blurry really. Because we had the two others, because they were only little tots themselves. Honestly, you know, I don’t remember a lot.
 
I know my wife couldn’t. We had we had to get a sun lounger, that you have out in the garden for her to sit on. Because the sofa, we didn’t have this one, but it was one like this, because she could get down on it, and if, and we knew for a fact she wouldn’t be able to get up, once she got down. So we got this sun lounger, because you can, you can lift it up and down by the arms and you can pull the legs up. So she pretty much lived in that. She could sleep in there, she could lay it up and down, and we could get her in and out and up and down. But, you know, because, and I was still working as well, although I did reduce my hours. And it, it all went by in a blur. I don’t know what happened. But we just did, you know, I did my bit at work and my wife’s family would come round and babysit or whatever and then when I came home I’d look after the kids.” And, you know, and, it helped her with whatever she might need, bathing, or pain killers or whatever, you know, nothing was too much trouble for my baby honestly. I give my wife whatever she needs. I’d walk over broken glass for her, you know, we did, we did it all. You know, and we worked together, you know. She did as much as she could which wasn’t very much at the start, but she wanted to, you know, because she’d missed out on so much, she feels like, you know, especially now with [third daughter] being the last baby, she’d missed out on, you know, such an important part for this family. She want, she want there for it. So she was determined to be there, you know, but it was difficult. She couldn’t hold [third daughter] for every long and you know, and with [second daughter] not being very well, you know, she’s not very well at all. So there was a lot she couldn’t do for her, and she found it pretty tough.
 
 

Memories of his wife in intensive care, after her hysterectomy, caused Rob to have flashbacks. He...

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But that was the beginning of the end for me. That, that, that was my flashbacks, that was my nightmares, that was my you know. 
 
So I finally curled up in the corner and the kitchen and, and I’m not in the kitchen, I’m in that room. As I say I didn’t believe it when soldiers come back saying … you know, different people, and I think, well you know, I can imagine the vision that you could, you know, the, the memory of the trauma or whatever you know, whatever you saw in the war, whatever, you know, I can understand it would affect you. I totally get it. Buy to say that you can smell it and see it and be in the same room, no you can’t be like that. And there am I in my kitchen, although I’m not. I’m… and it’s the strangest feeling to actually be stood somewhere but be somewhere else. It was just horrific, and my whole life has fell apart.
 
I can’t remember how far after we’d come out of hospital, I don’t know. She would know. She could tell you the exact time probably. So I think it was about four weeks after, I think. And it was quite late at night. I remember it was quite late at night. And I was walking across the lounge to go and make a cup of tea or something, because I hadn’t been sleeping. And I hadn’t been eating, you know, and I wasn’t feeling right, and then I collapsed in the lounge. Just fell to the floor. So we rang a friend, and he took me down to the hospital and I was admitted that night. I stayed for two nights I think it was. Admitted with nervous exhaustion. And then discharged. And then, then I started to get the flash, then I started to get to the flashbacks, although I was keeping that to myself. I wasn’t telling anyone. Although I think she kind of had an idea, because I wasn’t sleeping and I wasn’t eating. And I look back at pictures and I look horrendous. I mean my bags, I’ve got bags. I was pale and really skinny. I ended up getting IBS which I now have really bad now, which I suffered quite horrendously with that because the of the nature of my diet or lack of it at that time. I lost my job because of it. Because I had to reduce my hours anyway to help look after my wife because I was, at the time I was a stock room manager. So it was quite an important role, but I had to reduce the hours, which they were pretty good, quite flexible with. And, then as the flashbacks got worse, then eventually I just couldn’t leave the house. So, you know, it ended very amicably, but you know, I was politely asked to leave at the same time as I asked if I could leave, if you know what I mean. It was very nice, you know, and they were very helpful as far as they could be, but ultimately they do have a business to run and I understand that, so it ended rather, it ended very well, but I did lose my job. 
 
Whichever way you wasn’t to sugar coat that, you know, I did lose it. Because of it, I just couldn’t, I physically couldn’t leave the house. 
 
 
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Rob described how he had no idea that his wife's surgery could potentially go so wrong. When it...

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So her Dad came down with us, you know, and she kept saying, you know, and she kept saying, she said stuff, and you know, and she was saying goodbye and all this. And I’m like, here don’t be bloody daft you know. You know, I was worried, you know, I’m not, I wasn’t like. I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that there wasn’t, you know, that it wasn’t going to be complicated, you know, I wasn’t going in, oh yes, it’s lovely …. You know, I knew some fact it was potentially going to happen, but you know, nothing, nothing prepared.
 
But because obviously I wasn’t thinking that it could be as bad as that, bearing in mind how quickly they’d, the other two had gone, about ten, eleven minutes or whatever. Start to finish. I think half an hour had gone by and no-one had come out and I didn’t even, I wasn’t even worried. Because I though well obviously you’ve got this grade four. You know, I’ve never seen a placenta. I don’t know, you know, it might be quite tough to get through. And he might have to tie up some vessels. Who knows what? You know. 
 
So I didn’t worry, and then, and then it got to an hour she’d been in there, and I still hadn’t seen anybody. Because I was in like recovery. Pacing up and down. And so then after about an hour I was getting worried then, and you know, and I lie, I had seen a couple of nurses come in, “How are you, blah, blah, blah.” I said, “How’s things?” “Oh yes, it’s going all right. A few complications.” You know, but again that sort of made me think, well that’s of what we expected anyway so. 
 
Yes, then it got to an hour and I started to get a bit twitchy with an hour, you know, because I hadn’t had any real information. You know, saying there’s been a few complications, but you know, that’s not telling me anything is it, not really. .So, and then so it was an hour, may be an hour and ten, twenty, whatever. It had just gone over the hour and then a bloody nurse and a doctor came pounding into the room, and they was white, they was white. And I remember they were stood there and they both come up to me, and the nurse kind of come and stood next to me, all a little bit too close. I don’t like people standing too close to me. So she got in my zone and I wasn’t comfortable with that. And then they were both pale, you know, and he said, “ Something to ask you, I’ve got something to ask you Mr [name].” I said, “Well, what is it?” He says, “Yes, we’ve had some complications.” “Oh yeah.” You know. “And… baby’s all right, but we’re going to have to give your wife a hysterectomy. Because we can’t stop the bleeding.” With that the nurse touched me and so I kind of … you know, no thanks. “But we are going to have to do a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding, because we can’t stop it.” And I remember as clear as day, I said, “Well what you are stood here for then. Just go, just go and do it.” You know, he said, “Well we have to ask your permission…” I said, “Stop talking to me.” Do you know, none of this “We have to ask your permission.” You know, “Yes, I can understand why, you don’t want me suing you afterwards for doing it, when I didn’t say. But for goodness, sake, you know, if you know, if you’ve got to stop her bleeding, you just whip it out don’t you?” 
 
So he came to ask my permission to do it. And I thought you know, the first bit of information I’ve had is a guy asking me if he can do… So I just said, “Why are you talking to me, just go and do it.&
 
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Rob described how being taken down to see his wife in intensive care, was 'the beginning of the...

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But my wife’s care on the other hand couldn’t have been any further from it, you know, so. So blimey. So I went back down in the end. Well when I say in the end I was upstairs for a bit, and then I went down to find out what was going on. And that moment was the beginning of the end. Because further down the line, jump a bit, I did have a breakdown, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, which prior to having it, I didn’t actually believe was a real thing. You know, and I had depression as well and agoraphobia. A few little things you know.
 
But, but the… but the beginning of the end, you know, the beginning of that coming, was when I went back down to see, and find out what was going on, they said, well they’d finished everything they could do here, they’d got to take her over to Intensive Care. Because they just haven’t got the facilities that they need here, and they just can’t… They managed to stop the bleeding but they had to ring a surgeon who was in surgery, in the main hospital, get him out of that surgery and get him over here to sort my wife out and he used some special packing stuff which they use on the battle front, some special stuff to stop the soldiers bleeding. I don’t know what it’s made from, but that’s what they used on my wife, because they said it was like, you know, like a gun wound or whatever, you know, the bleeding, they couldn’t stop. So they did this stuff with this surgeon who was, you know, they called him out of another operation to come over. So that again told me you know, how serious, you know, again thinking back to all the conversations, we don’t induce women just because they’re tired. You know, we’re not doing that for this, you know. We’ll let you go two weeks overdue, and here I am getting all this news. Do you know what I mean? 
 
Two weeks, if, you know, two weeks over, we asked about two or three weeks before, you know, five weeks ago, all this could have been prevented, you know, however much the placenta grew in, five weeks is a long time in baby growth. Because [name] had even had the injection to make her lungs ready to be born before the due date, they had even done that, and the doctor still said, “No.” 
 
You know, so I was thinking five, you know, we could have, we didn’t even need, we didn’t even need to be here, didn’t need to be here at all. So anyway…. and then they said, “Do you want to go and see her, before we get the ambulance to take her over?” And I said, “Yes.” 
 
And then it came [laughs], the nurse said, “Right you can come in but bear in mind she’s got lots of wires and tubes and things. So obviously because she’s had this emergency surgery. And when you go in there,” she said. “Just remember that the hearing is the last thing to go.” And then shut the door behind me. 
 
And I’m in the room alone and this nurse just said, “The hearing is the last thing to go.” You know, and… she had like, I would say about ten or fifteen wires in her. I mean she had about ten coming out of her neck, and machines and everything. And you know what I mean, it’s just, you know, it doesn’t look nothing like it does in Casualty. Do you know what I mean? [Laughs]. No. But honestly it was horrific, absolutely horrific. And… and I couldn’t speak, not a word came out, not anything. I stood there just dumbstruck at what I was looking at. You know, my beautiful wife just, you know, dead. Because of the nurse, you know, hearing is the last thing to go. You know, what else are you going to, what else are you going to think, you know. And she wasn’t dead, thank goodness. But
 
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Rob described his flashbacks after his wife's emergency. He experienced PTSD, agoraphobia and...

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But that was the beginning of the end for me. That, that, that was my flashbacks, that was my nightmares, that was my you know. 
 
So I finally curled up in the corner and the kitchen and, and I’m not in the kitchen, I’m in that room. As I say I didn’t believe it when soldiers come back saying… you know, different people, and I think, well you know, I can imagine the vision that you could, you know, the, the memory of the trauma or whatever you know, whatever you saw in the war, whatever, you know, I can understand it would affect you. I totally get it. Buy to say that you can smell it and see it and be in the same room, no you can’t be like that. And there am I in my kitchen, although I’m not. I’m… and it’s the strangest feeling to actually be stood somewhere but be somewhere else. It was just horrific, and my whole life has fell apart.
 
So of course, I’d got my wife in Intensive Care… and then when she comes home, and we’ve got all this stuff going on. You know, new baby, my wife’s so sick she can barely move. You know, and bit by bit I’m starting to crumble away as well, you know, and the whole family’s just … well it’s just all fallen apart. Do you know what I mean? Emotionally and physically. Yes, all because of this one singular event that, you know.
 
I’m not saying, at the time I was, but now, we’re five years down the line, I kind of look back and think right, if we’d have had the baby at five weeks, that’s not to say that this potentially still couldn’t have happened, because with the placenta where it was, there was always going to be that risk wasn’t there, that we said, you know, there’s always going to be… complications. There’s always going to be something. 
 
You know, so there was never, you know, I started to think well, you know, there was always going to be something, but it didn’t never need to be this. I think this could have been prevented, you know, something was going to happen, you know, that we were kind of prepared for a little… nothing’s ever little is it? But do you know what I mean? We were prepared for a little something, for a, for a minor incident that, you know, it might take a month or so to get over but we could work that. Do you know what I mean? But then we had this to deal with you know. 
 
But when we left hospital eventually that was it, gone. Never saw another doctor and there was nothing, you know, it was just, you just had to get on with it. And it was tough, it was real tough, really tough. I can’t even begin to tell you how bad it was. 
 
I couldn’t leave the house after that. Well I did, my wife would make me. I nearly, I’ve even broken a pint of milk. You are going to the shop, you know. Not in a horrible way, but, you know, because she totally sympathised, because her Dad is a psychotherapist, he’s a counsellor. So she got some advice and obviously he couldn’t comment specifically on what he thought I had, which he never done, even to this day he’s never said, “Well bloody hell boy, I could see this right at the start.” You know, he was very respectful, kept, you know, and just offered friendly advice to my wife where he was, where he was allowed to. 
 
So I was never allowed to stay in. I had to, you know, I did have to do little journeys, you know, and I am thankful for those, because it did actually, I couldn’t see it at the time. I was like crying, and “I can’t leave the house.” You know, but you know, it did help to break down that barrier, just getting that pint of milk every day. It did help. B
 
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Rob felt devastated by his GP's lack of sympathy when he asked for help. Some support, even just...

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You know, and hard for me to do, I plucked up the courage to go. And I went to the GP like to ask for some help, and you know what he said to me, right. I said, as I’m sat here now. He said to me, he looked me right in the eye, and he said to me, “Mr [name],” he says. “Your wife is the one that went through all of the trauma, and everything else. You just need to pull yourself together and be there for your wife.” And that was it. That for me, I fell into a pit of despair from there.
 
Because of course what am I going to come away thinking, I’m thinking, he’s right, he’s right. What is the matter with me? I’m having all these flashbacks and that. I can’t go to work, what sort of a man am I? I can’t, you know, I need to pull myself together, but equally I couldn’t. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t even, you know, couldn’t even tell you what day it was. Let alone anything else, you know, and my marriage was falling apart and, and everything. And he just tells me to suck it up. And that just made it worse and worse and worse. And you know, and I honestly didn’t think I was ever going to survive. You know, but if we survived that, you know, together we’ve got through that, and bloody hell, I mean that was hard, and then I started to fall apart. And then she had to then, you know, return the favour almost. Not that it’s a favour. But, you know, she, she had to then, she had to start nursing me back to bloody health. Do you know what I mean? And it took me four years. I can honestly say it’s taken me four years, may be a bit more, before. And I couldn’t speak about it for two. I couldn’t two years ago, if you’d sat me down here, I couldn’t have told you any of this. Not, not a word of it. I honestly, without just bursting into tears, and just going somewhere else. I couldn’t off.
 
And it’s still hard for me now and I don’t think I’ll ever properly get over it, because it was… it was so life changing that you, that you just don’t realise how these moments can change everything, and how rapidly events progress from there. You know, that the chain of events that just spiral out of your control, and you’ve got nothing you can do. And, and the fact that we had such a poor medical team, not helping us or supporting us anywhere. Just made it worse. I think if we’d have had a team that was half decent, I don’t think we’d have been in this, we’d have been in this mess now. I don’t think we would have been. You know, if we’d have got some help afterwards. But whatever, I mean I don’t know, whatever it might have been, couples counselling or I don’t know, just someone who gave a monkey’s to come round and help us, you know, or someone to come round and say, “Look while I’m sort of looking after the kids, you know, there’s someone that can help wash her or something.” Not that I mind doing that. And I did that. And I would do it every day for the rest of my life if that’s what were needed, but you know, there is no, nothing, you know, not anything at all, you know, if someone could just come round and do our washing or ironing for us. Just simple stuff like that, or like you say, just take her out for a cup of tea, and bloody, just a friendly ear, you know, just something, but we got nothing. 
 
 
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Rob had two young daughters at home while his wife was in Intensive Care after her near miss....

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So [first daughter] worries every times she goes into hospital because for that period of time, I know she was only little, but you know, she remembers that Mum wasn’t there, and then when she came home, Mum couldn’t pick her up. And you know, because she couldn’t lift her at all, because of all the surgery that she’d had done. So [first daughter] is now, she’s terrified if her Mother’s goes into hospital. If she goes away for a night, to stay at her Mum’s or whatever, [first daughter] is just hysterical. She has to sleep with an item of her clothing. You know, she’s just beside herself, you just can’t. You know, and that’s even now.
 
And how old is she now?
 
She’s eight now.
 
She’s eight now. So she was three?
 
Yes. And you know, I know that’s only little, but you know, prior to that, no problem, no problem, but after that, it began from there. Just getting worse and worse. It’s terrible. It’s terrible. So it’s impacted her a lot. More than, more than I probably know. More than I’ll probably ever know. More than I’ll probably ever know. But I know it has a lot. And that’s not fair on her either, you see, because you know, it’s not fair on her. It’s not her fault and she hasn’t got any part to play in this scenario. It’s my wife and I that have gone through it, and [third daughter] as well, actually. 
 
But you know, it does it affects the whole family in a big way. You know, and it does affect her, you know, but… we just deal with it. We get on with it.
 
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