LOSING OUR HOME AND ONLY SOURCE OF INCOME:
Hi, I’m Lynn. I’m mom to Demi (14) and Riley (7). Earlier this year my husband Iain – their dad – collapsed on our kitchen floor in the middle of the night and died of a pulmonary embolism. We are now not only left without a soulmate and father, but without any means to retain our house, which is our only source of income. Please consider helping making a small contribution to help us.
In 2016 Iain went to the UK to look for work. We had intended to immigrate there as a family and he had gone to set up for us. It didn't go well. He struggled to find work, and was constantly ill. He was diagnosed repeatedly with chest infections. By January 2017, he was missing us and felt things were not going to work for him/us there, and so he headed home. He arrived home on the 20th January. I knew straight away that something was very wrong. He was half the man he was before he left S.A. for the UK. He was weak, grey and struggling to breathe. It was a huge shock to see him like this. He mentioned that he had been sleeping in an upright position for over 6 months. He was blacking out, struggling to breathe, was not making any coherent sense when he spoke and was unable to sleep horizontally. He was literally drowning in his own fluids. Within 48 hours of his return I rushed him to hospital. Within 20 minutes our lives were turned upside down as they diagnosed him with severe, irreversible cardiomyopathy- Heart Failure. He was immediately admitted and I was told he was terminal. His heart had tripled in size. He was not a heart transplant candidate and all we could hope for was that the cocktail of medication would stunt the rate of his heart failure. The staff at Helen Joseph were superb but it was evident his condition was severe. The only hope was that the medication would extend his lifespan somewhat. He tried to be brave but I think he knew deep down he didn’t have long left with us.
On the 31 January, he was discharged from hospital. He was to return home to rest and heal until his follow up treatment in late February and surgery in April.
In the early hours 2 February, I fell into a very short, but deep sleep following 90 hours of absolutely no rest at all. I woke up suddenly to the sound of his head hitting the kitchen floor. He had stumbled to the kitchen, where he eventually collapsed. I ran down the passage, but by the time I reached the kitchen, he was gasping his last few breaths. Demi (our daughter) ran out her room, I called for help while she gently placed a pillow under her father’s head and patiently performed CPR on him until help arrived.
It happened so quickly, we barely had time to realise what was actually happening. We were losing our "rock", our husband/father/breadwinner/love of our lives. He took his final breath and died that morning. Demi still has nightmares. Riley still longs for his beloved Dad. I wish I could turn back the clock for him, for the children. He didn't deserve to suffer and die like that. It has been heartbreaking for all of us and came as such a shock.
Sadly, although the doctors here told him he had little time left, and that he should get his affairs in order, there simply wasn't any time spared for him, as he died within 48 hours of discharge and there wasn't time to put his affairs in order. With Iain being unemployed for over a year we had used up what little capital we had, and much of the financial support he had in place, lapsed or ran out due to his unemployment.
I run a small pre-school from home but it was always a supplement income source, and with his income no longer coming in, no policies being paid out, no reserves to lean on, the children and I face losing everything, as his estate faces liquidation. and without life-cover on the bond of the house, we face losing the house- which is now my primary source of income and all we have left.
We adopted both our children- both of them were Iain's entire world. He lived for them entirely. He was a solid, reliable and loving father and husband and a massive supporter and advocate for adoption and in particular, interracial adoption. Iain loved them with all that he had. Their loss is one of a person who was larger than life in their lives.
It has been an incredibly hard adjustment for us, and as a mom and now the sole provider for two beautiful children, I cannot imagine how painful it will be to have them face even more loss following the loss of their father. I just want to protect them and, to the best of my ability keep the collateral damage to a minimum so that they can focus on healing and coming to terms with this dramatic and unfair loss they have had to experience in their childhood.
With Iain gone, and not much of a support system to speak of, I am reaching out for help.