Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Pauline Jayne Donovan 1961-2014

My mother died at around 3:30 this afternoon, age 53, after deteriorating suddenly overnight.

I was there along with my father, brother, grandparents and aunt until the very end and I held her hand throughout. She died peacefully after mechanical support was withdrawn.

Part of me is relieved the uncertainty if over, and this has been – without a shadow of a doubt – the worst week or so of my life, and complete roller coaster of emotions and stress.

She was quite lucid when she was brought around from sedation on Monday and things were looking brighter – unfortunately I wasn't there at the time. Even this morning I was discussing how long she would be in hospital and what sort of adaptions could be made to make her life easier upon release.

Then we got "the phonecall". A phonecall I wouldn't wish on anybody, but we're probably all going to get at some point. It shows you how quickly these things can change.

Mam was always in relatively poor health, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and COPD (from years of smoking - don't ever smoke), and arguably had the body of a 75 year old. I know it's cliched, but there's no more pain now.

I'd like to place on record - on behalf of the family - my gratitude to the staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital intensive care unit, whose professionalism, skill, sensitivity and dedication was downright inspirational. They've been stars since day one, but they could only do so much and they did their best.

I'd like to thank everyone who has left messages of support in the last blog too. I'm having problems logging in to Disqus so I couldn't thank you all personally.

It's hard news to take obviously, but there's been plenty of gallows humour already (and she would want that) – as I said, I'm glad the uncertainty is over. This is inevitably going to take a while to come to terms with, but I'll pencil in July for a return to blogging.

Goodbye, Mam. You were great fun, a great laugh, a great friend. I'm going to miss you as will many others. So it goes.


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