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Interview 25

Age at interview: 83
Brief Outline: In 2006 his 79-year-old wife was admitted to intensive care. Their daughter was their main support and they are now moving to live near her.
Background: Retired from working for the milk marketing board, married with one adult daughter. Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

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In 2006 his 79-year-old wife, who has asthma and diabetes, was admitted to ICU. She spent six days in ICU, about a week in a Coronary Care Unit and a day in a general ward. He visited his wife every day and, when his daughter arrived, they took it in turns to visit. He praised the care and information he received from ICU staff and the support from his daughter, who stayed with him for three weeks and looked after him and their home. 

When his wife was back home and regaining strength, he looked after her and many of the household tasks. Their daughter was their main source of support while his wife was ill and they are now moving to a retirement home close to their daughter.  
 
 

He waited at his wife's bedside until the early hours of the morning but no one at that time...

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So she was taken into intensive care?

Yes. 

And were the doctors able to tell you what was wrong at the time or didn't they know? 

No. They didn't make any comment. 

And where did you wait? Did you wait outside the intensive care unit or in a waiting room? 

I was in there with her. 

By the bed? 

By the bed yes. Yes. 

And had you been in an Intensive Care Unit before? 

No. Never. 

It was the first time. And did you know anything about the equipment that they used or did they explain? 

No. Nothing at all. 

So you sat by the bed? 

Yes. 

And how long did you stay there for? 

I was there until quarter to three in the morning. 

Oh then you drove back? 

And then they said, you know, 'You may as well go home.' And she was obviously breathing all right with the machine doing the job. And I went home and got some sleep and I was back again in the morning, about half past ten I suppose. When I went back. 

And did you see the doctor then or was it a nurse? 

The nurse at that time yes. I saw the doctor later on. Obviously they put the thing through the mouth then, but then on the Friday morning about 12 o'clock the nurse said, 'Can you leave us for a while. We are going to do a tracheotomy.' And go through that, so they did, and then I saw the doctor again.

And what did the doctor say to you? 

Well he says, 'We've got to hope for the best.' 

 

His daughter helped out when his wife was ill. They are now moving to be closer to her, to a...

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But actually we are leaving now. We decided that, the daughter wants us to go up to live nearer to them. And we have decided that this is the best way so we are going into a retirement village or a sheltered home or whatever you like to call it. 

There is a lot more support there?

Yes and then we can get whatever care we want. We have actually bought the home and it has almost gone through and we have got an agreed sale on this place as well. So we are hoping that we can be moving within the next few weeks. 

It will be good to be with your daughter who can help out?

Yes. This is about 13 miles from where she lives. So, not too near, but near enough you know. 

And There will probably be quite a lot of support in the retirement home won't there? 

Yes, whatever you need actually, they can supply. You know. 

That will be good. 

Yes. 

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