Welcome to my mothers story,
My Mum and dad met at a the young age of 18 mum was a shy easy going girl and kept herself to herself and wasn't big on the social side of life, little did mum know that while she was at a slade concert the love of her life was at the same concert but she never knew it. A couple of years down the line she went to her local pub to meet her father and whilst at the bar she got talking to the bar tender about annoying customers but little did the bar tender know it was her father. Later that night her father left and the bar tender asked her if she would like to be walked home and she agreed. When they came to their destination it dawned on them that they only lived two doors apart and that is where it began. Married at the age of 19 my Mother and Father were told by her dad it woldn't last 6 months and yet they remain happily married til death do they part 42 years later. They never had it easy and it didn't come without trouble but together they stand united putting on that same smile from all those years ago. They raised 4 children over the years which had its challenges i assure you as we weren't the easiest of children to raise and deffinately put them through their paces. Mum gave up work and looked after us while dad worked long hours and two jobs just to support his family as he felt it was his duty. There were good times when the bonus came and we had lamb on the sunday roast and then there was the bad times when a pack of sausages would have to do. Let me now fast forward to why we are here today Mum and Dad have always thought of everyone but themselves and never looked after number one so to speak. Taking care of sick family members over the past few years is where it has taken its toll. Three years ago around Christmas Dad nearly lost his life due to medical complications which took it's toll on Mum as she couldn't drive and visiting times were few and far between. Dad pulled through but was left with a stoma anxiety issues and hypochondria. The following christmas my Nan lost her battle with Vascular Dementia another life event which had a big impact on Mum and Dad after spending all their time looking after and caring for her and not taking time for them selves. After getting through the past two years nobody was expecting the events which unfolded the following christmas. Mum had spent the build up to christmas panicking and stressing herself out with everything being perfect for her family and with Dads issues it wasn't easy for her. She picked up a cold which progressed into a chest infection which she never visited the doctors for because as the old school folk do they take some cough mixture and get on with it. Little did we know she had a pneumococcal virus which was about to change her life forever. Mum, Dad and the family were excited about christmas day as i was to return home and be there on christmas morning for the first time in 10 years. Mum didn't look to good on my return and promised she would see a doctor after the holiday but by then it was too late. Mum collapsed on the 28th of December and was rushed into hospital and after spending a large period of time without oxygen to the brain she fell into a coma and was put on life support and a ventilator. Over the next week were informed that Mum had a virus that had turned into Bacterial Meningitis which was in her spinal and brain fluid, this accompanied by Pneumonia, Lung infection and Anemia had caused Mum to suffer a large stroke which damaged the two front lobes of her brain and a section of the back of her brain. In the beginning we were told that we should expect the worse and Mum would never regain consciousness, move or talk again but they would try their hardest with her. Mum spent the next few weeks being unresponsive to treatments and showing no signs of improvement which day by day became increasingly worrying for the outcome that was ahead. After many days and nights spent with mum it was the last friday of january and the news came that we were dreading the most, the Dr informed us that mum had made no signs of improvement and all of her support was to be taken away and nature was to take it's course. The doctor out of respect for mum and her family would leave all of her support for the final weekend whilst we prepared ourselves for the inevitable and could inform family members to see her one last time. I remember the final words i said to mum before we left '' Your a Gunningham we don't take things lying down your not going anywhere '' my brother said directly into her ear '' If you are still in there and you can hear me then you make sure you open your eyes and fight for our dad '' the sunday came and the miracle happened mum had flickered her eyes and the new chapter had began. After a couple of weeks mum had made enough progress for them to admit her to the brain unit BIRU at Frenchay which would be funded by the government for 6 months. We are coming to the end of the 6 months of which mum has made improvements in terms of feeding and communicating but her mobility, emotional and incontinence issues have not made the progress we had hoped for. The decision has been made that no further funding would be granted and they will shortly be discharging mum. We are now at a point where mums cognitive state of mind is a concern because she does not wish to go in a nursing home which if they decide not to adapt our home or they can't find a suitable adapted residency a nursing home is where she will end up, and this would be detremental to mums health and state of mind which would undo all the progress she has currently made. Mum needs further help with Physio, Occupational Therapy and an extension to our house with the equipment and wet wet room to further her rehabilitation.
All we can do is open up our hearts and ask all of you kind people to show your generosity and help bring mum home to us where she belongs. :)
- Jayne Abbott
- Donna Ball
- Hartcliffe Community Water Fight
- Sara Carswell
- Rachael Nutter