I was 9 when Mum passed away. I was still a kid. I didn’t know half of the stuff I do now. Last year was the worst but also the best year of my life. I made this blog but also my dad had a heart attack what came out of the blue then further down the line we found out he had to have life-saving heart surgery. He never was ill in his life. Until last year.
He’s 51. He was fit and healthy. Made me and my brother walk around Lichfield and Tamworth every Sunday afternoons! But looking back at it, I bloody loved it and one day I hope we can do that again.
Then he suddenly got ill one-week April last year 2017. He went to urgent care and he even said was it to do with his heart, but the doctors were like no it’s just an infection. He got given amoxicillin. That nearly killed him as he found out he is allergic to it. The symptoms didn’t go, they worsened in fact. He started feeling tightness in his lips and chest then his breathing started to go. He rarely ate. Then he fainted numerous times in the bathroom.
One night in the week with his apparent infection, he wasn’t getting better. His breathing was deteriorating that much. He thought he was dying but in fact, he was having a heart attack. It was such a shock to get a phone call being told your 50-year-old dad was in the hospital and he had a heart attack. I thought I lost my parent as I was 19 at the time.
So, we faced that hurdle, we were told numerous things. Heart failure and all sorts. He was put on medication and after 7 days he was let out finally and we thought that would be the end of it. He stopped smoking and changed his lifestyle choices drastically. But he wanted to know why he had the heart attack, so he went through so many tests and appointments.
In the end, In September we got told the news we didn’t want but also glad we knew what happened to my Dad and why he suddenly had a heart attack out of a blue. His 4 arteries were blocked and were a walking and ticking time bomb in all reality.
Seeing your dad deteriorate each week is not a nice sight by any means. Seeing your dad struggling to breath when you walk to the car or even walking up stairs. He acted fine, but we could tell it was getting worse each week.
He needed an operation otherwise he could have had another massive heart attack and that could have been deadly. We only thought it would be a triple heart bypass but no we had to go the whole bang for his first ever operation and it was going to be a quadruple heart bypass!
We waited since September until my dad got the call last Wednesday we wanted so badly. A bed was free, and they wanted him to have the operation this Tuesday. He went into hospital Bank holiday Monday and I will never forget that day as that is the start of the recovery journey for my dad. When I found out Sunday, I had mixed emotions as I was scared obviously in case I would have lost another parent but glad as he was getting another chance at life. He was obviously scared as it was his first ever operation and it was massive by any means!
I didn’t go Tuesday after his operation as I was advised it would be too upsetting for a young person it was even hard for my nan and grandad as it was their youngest son. Plus, I didn’t want to see my dad with tubes all over the place as I still get the flash blacks when I saw my Mum dead on her bed when I was 9.
He had the operation at New Cross heart and lung centre. He went to Intensive care until he woke up then he went to the high dependency unit then he’s now moved to the Cardiothoracic ward.
I wish I could be in that bed and take that pain from him he is going through but in the long run, I know he will get better slowly.
Seeing your dad in pain isn’t the nicest sight. It’s heartbreaking seeing your dad in a hospital bed and with oxygen and struggling to move as it hurts. Seeing your dad with bruises all over him and swollen feet. Many times, yesterday I wanted to burst into tears but managed to control my own emotions as I didn’t want my dad to know I was upset so I just used excuses as going to the toilet or cafe to calm my emotions down.
What hit me the most and it might sound silly to others, but he was wearing my granddad’s slippers and not once in my 20 years of being on this earth I saw my dad wearing slippers and that kind of hit me hard to the point of thinking oh shit this is bad and he’s poorly.
So, he’s had his life-saving surgery. It’s early days but I am hopeful as my dad is strong and a fighter. That’s where I get it from I think. It’s 4 days since his life-saving surgery and his surgery went well according to the doctor so I am happy about that. Yesterday he slowly did physio to try and walk for the first time since Monday, but he managed to walk! Which I’m super proud.
I’m kind of thinking that my mum was looking down on us and my dad to get us through Tuesday and this week.
Living with the fear of that phone call that your dad had a massive heart attack was on my mind 24/7. I didn’t know whether he’d be here for my 21st birthday or would he ever see his grandchildren and kids grow up and get married.
I am very hopeful that I will get my dad back to his happy bubbly self in a year or two and his life will be back as normal as it can be.
I’ve not been the best daughter due to my mental health getting in the way of seeing my dad as my social phobia decided it wanted to attack my relationship with my dad, but I am working on that every single day.
Dad, you scare me sometimes, but I bloody love you. My old man! x
British Heart Foundation helped my dad of the impact of having his heart attack and the waiting game for his operation.
Yes, I’m a mental health blogger but I vow to raise money for BHF and mental health charities as they have saved my life and my dad life, and I couldn’t thank them enough right now.
Please don’t feel alone if you are going through similar experiences. I am always here to talk, and I encourage you to reach out to me here on the blog, on any of my social media pages or through email. Having people to talk to was what helped me most through this stressful time.
I probably wouldn’t have had a dad this year if BHF wasn’t here and wasn’t researching new treatments and medication for heart conditions.
Thank you for saving my dad life and saving a family from going through grief. Thank you for giving him another chance at life.
Love Shannon Diana x
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Thank You x