Losing my Dad to COVID suddenly

Discussion in 'Loss to COVID-19' started by Christine_U, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Christine_U

    Christine_U New Member

    In February my parents were on their way to Singapore and Australia for a 6 week trip with my brother and his partner. My brother has lived in Australia for the last 3 years and this was their first opportunity to go out and visit him.

    In February not much was known about COVID-19 and no one was really taking the risk seriously because if the health officials and our administration didn't seem worried yet, then why should we? My parents made it all the way through their trip and during their last week in March my brother and I tried to convince them to stay longer. But they decided they'd fly home as planned. They got home on March 11th and by the 15th my mom had become extremely ill. My dad, on the other hand, said he was feeling totally fine, just a slight stuffy nose that he contributed to allergies.

    After a few days of a sore throat and a slight fever, my mom had her first virtual doctor's visit where they told her "it's just strep" and put her on antibiotics. My dad took ill shortly after. I would call to check in, text both him and my mom, and the whole time my Dad would tell me he was fine, it's just a slight fever, I'm going to be sleeping it off, we're ok, you do not need to come over. So I didn't go over. I live 45 minutes away from my parents and I never once went to check on them in person because I believed they were going to be just fine.
    By March 26th my parents were still suffering from their fevers, fatigue, and were severely dehydrated and were finally told it go to the ER. My dad didn't want my mom to tell me because he knows how much I always worry, but she called and said they would be fine. But by that Saturday my dad was being placed on a respirator and sedated because the virus was so far gone, he had pneumonia in all four of his lung's lobes. On Monday my mom had recovered enough the doctor's felt comfortable discharging her and she went home to wait for news about my dad, starting the most horrific emotional rollercoaster we've ever been on.

    By April 3rd they were telling us it doesn't look good, prepare yourselves, make arrangements, only for another doctor to swoop in saying "We have an experimental treatment!" We started to see some improvements, followed by more issues. This trend lasted about a week until on April 9th we got a call saying my dad almost went into cardiac arrest the night before and at this point there was nothing more they could do. The virus had attacked his lungs, his kidneys, and his liver and everything was shutting down. They asked us what we wanted to do, do you want to remove him from the respirator?

    The following day, April 10th which happened to be Good Friday (significant for my family as we're Catholic), I was allowed to be in the hospital with my dad. I gowned up, double gloves, double masks, and hair net. I had to be the one to officially tell the doctors to remove his breathing tube. I was the one in his room holding his hand while trying to FaceTime with my mom and my brother in Australia so they could say their goodbyes. I was the one with him when he took his last breath and let go. And it's a pain that has forever been burned into my heart. I feel this loss every single day.

    I feel guilty for not going to check on them when he told me to stay home and stay safe, I feel this horrible weight of being the one to make the final call and sign the documents releasing his body to the funeral home. It's been five months and I still feel so numb. I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I can't go out in public if I think there will be large crowds because I will have a panic attack. My friends have all been wonderful, my boyfriend has been my rock, but with how wonderful they've all been, they don't know what it's like to lose a parent and they certainly don't know what it's like to lose a parent (almost both) so suddenly by something so unknown to us still. I don't know how anyone could ever know this pain unless they've gone through it as well. It has brought me and my mom closer together, as well as me and my uncle (dad's brother), but it has also distanced me from everyone else in such a way I don't know how to recover.
  2. MemaB

    MemaB New Member

    I'm so very sorry for the loss of your father, and I'm truly happy your mother recovered... Hold on to the friends and family that have been supporting you, they will help you get through this honorific time in your life.
    I will keep you and your mother in my prayers... Brenda
  3. Christine_U

    Christine_U New Member

    Thank you Brenda <3
  4. Time heals

    Time heals Member

    Hi Christine, I’m so sorry for your loss. I experienced almost similar with my husband: my Juan’s passed 8 days ago . It’s heart breaking to watch those whom you love pass away too early when they have lots of life still left in them. I know ur pain is real just as it is for me. We have to encourage each other and hold onto all the memories that we have of our loved ones. Glad ur mom is well.
  5. Oona73

    Oona73 New Member

    Dearest Christine,

    Gosh so much of your experience reads like mine. My parents were alone through first two months of lockdown March and Feb when I live 45 mins away from them.
    When lockdown eased for us in India we tried to get them to stay with us. In this time my father became severely ill will kidney issues, colon polyps, and huge blood loss. We worried everyday for him as we took him to
    Hospitals met docs, had minor surgeries, thankfully always negative of covid.

    My mom ran a little bookshop and once papa recovered she reopened and started—5 months she was fine. Meanwhile my bro and family moved closer to them from
    Another city after 9 years thinking WFH and remote work would allow him to be close to
    Them. Mom remained always active even taking care of my daughter while we visited hospitals with papa.
    She ensured we all ate well, my daughter was well looked after, shop ran and she could do her writing/translation work.

    we never worried for her.

    on 21st Nov, i called then and ma said she had a slight fever because of exertion. I called again the next day and she assured me she was fine. I did not call for 2 days as I was visiting my in
    Laws thinking also that she was fine.
    2 days later my bro tells me mom still feverish and both she and dad were sure it was a seasonal flu. I felt so horrible for not visitng the first day she had fever but given her health being string we still felt she would be fine! HOW wrong we were. And we live to regret the day.

    My bro kept insisting they test and they finally agreed on 5th day. Test booking took a day and on 26 Nov she was tested.

    27th morning I spoke to her and she sounded breathless. Both bro and I decided to rush to her and by the time we reached her test result had come positive. Bro rushed her to ICU with low oxygen levels and he filled out various forms etc. Mom was messaging us through it.

    3 days later she tested negative and was moved go a non-covid ICU. We could visit briefly and were planning how to
    Manage her return. She slowly deteriorated daily as the pneumonia spread and attacked her lungs. On 9th she told us all to stay happy gasping for breath even for a sip of water. My bro and I stood by her side holding back tears and hoping against hope. The images of her in that state would haunt us forever. my dad wanted to visit but we were scared he too would catch given numerous co-morbidities. They saw each other over Video calls.

    A sr intensivist advised she be ventilated and proned so was moved to another hospital. Here semi conscious she broke down when she considered her state. She always wanted to leave peacefully and active.
    5 harrowing days later mom
    Left us. Sedated and unconscious not even able to bid goodbye.
    Everyday without her is an indescribable pain. She was the fulcrum
    Of the family. Remarkable in every respect—not just as mom or wide but as a multifaceted,passionate sensitive human being. I curse myself for not visiting her the day she had a mild fever. She would NEVER have abandoned us thus. I grope in vain for messages/signs from her. I lack faith and it has come back to bite my skeptic self. There is. NO solace in anything.

    cestla_rhi likes this.
  6. cestla_rhi

    cestla_rhi New Member

    Thank you for sharing and I’m so so sorry. I lost my 62 year old dad three weeks ago from complications from COVID. I live in Illinois and he and my stepmother live in Louisiana and I was planning to come down for Christmas but about a week before he let me know he might have covid and was getting tested. Then he got pneumonia but it still didn’t seem that bad. I told him we’d wait until after the new year to visit to be safe (for me and my toddler). A couple of days before Christmas, he was unresponsive and was taken to the ER in an ambulance. He had cardiac arrest between the ER and ICU and went into a coma. I flew down two days later. After three weeks and multiple organ failure, it became clear he wasn’t going to wake up and if he did, would be in a permanent vegetative state. So, I went with my stepmother and 23 year old brother to the hospital and we took him off life support. I’m still in Louisiana and struggling so much with the idea of leaving. It feels like leaving his house means leaving him, even though I know rationally that he’s not coming back. The pain is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know how to be in a world without my dad.