Friday 2nd November 2018. 16.00hrs
Funny, not Ha Ha, but more satirical really, how that particular second in life manifests itself without warning.
One second you think you have it all, love, life, happiness, hopes and plans for the future, a cold beer and tapas on the table in front of you, relaxed and looking forward to spending a fun filled few days together.
In a flash, in a heartbeat, our World tilts then turns upside down, will we cling on?
The day our world changed forever, was when my husband Gary had a severe Ischemic Stroke at the age of 56.
We we’re chatting normally, I turned to look out of the window, when suddenly the table shook and the drinks nearly fell, I turned to see what my husband was doing, and there it was, a full blown stroke in progress.
The Bar is noisy, I am shouting for help, Gary is struggling to stay conscious, I am struggling to hold him on the chair, he has no control of anything, he is drooling, his mouth is lopsided, he’s drawing away from our World, the stroke is obvious, all the symptoms are there, and seem magnified, I am in a mad panic, I shout, Ambulance, Ambulance, he’shaving a stroke, two strangers are holding him up now, they want to lay him on the floor, I say no, I must keep him conscious, I keep talking to him, look at me, don’t close your eyes, stay with me I say.
My heart is beating so fast I can feel the pulse in my head, where is the ambulance? I am desperate for someone to help, I stare into his eyes, willing him to stay with me, he can see me,
I keep talking to him, I ask him to say my name, his mouth does not work, I won’t let go, I know he will be desperately trying to stay with me. He has that terrible indescribable fear in his eyes, the same fear I have in my heart, a fear you can only understand if you have experienced it, a fear that they are slipping away from you, and you are powerless to bring them back.
I must not let him go. I keep repeating in my head, he’s having a stroke, I can’t seem to stop it, we need help, we need help right now, I want to scream, but I am already shouting for help, what else can I do, everyone is looking at us, all of a sudden the bar seems quiet, no one is talking, just staring, everyone looks very sorry for us, everyone understands what is going on, but it’s not
happening to them, it’s happening to us. It’s happening to my Husband; how can this be?
My Husband, and soulmate, a charismatic, charming, witty and funny, highly intelligent Guy, the kind you can always rely on. Aged just 56 at the time of his stroke. No medical conditions, not overweight, healthy and fit lifestyle. Based in Switzerland working for a Swiss Company, extremely experienced at his job role, highly respected by everyone he worked with, loved by all his family and friends.
We have a great marriage and lifestyle, he is my best friend for sure, both working hard at our respective Careers, living between Spain, where we have a beautiful home, and a plan to retire there one day, and Switzerland, enjoying everything both Countries have to offer.
Skiing weekends and holidays during the winter Season, riding our Motorbikes in Spain during the Summer, and enjoying an amazing social life with Friends there. Gary is a natural sportsman and he was a good golfer. He loves every aspect of skiing, particularly the Après ski.
We went to Ibiza for a week every year, where we loved the music, the dancing and the chilled atmosphere, relaxing all day in the sunshine, enjoying the sangria and Gin and Tonics and staying out till the early hours enjoying the vibe from the young ones.
Gary is the sort of person who loves to make people laugh, he is brilliant at laughing at himself, and he is also brilliant at telling a funny story. He will go the extra mile just to make you laugh.
He is the most honest person I know, incapable of telling a lie, he is extremely loyal, but if you do not return his loyalty he will happily walk away.
His loyalty extended to a thirty two year career at Rolls Royce Aerospace, where at the age of forty nine he decided he had no further promotion prospects, so he took the massive step of seeking a position with another Company, he moved to London to work with a Swiss Company for two years, then he was invited to make the move to Switzerland and join the team there. He had reached the pinnacle of his career and was at the peak of his earning power, but more importantly, he loved his job and envisaged many more years in this role.
Gary travelled globally within his role, and had a very responsible position within the Company, I have been asked many times if I thought stress played a big part in his stroke, but I have to say, that Gary is not a person to stress about things, he has a very calm and calming personality, also, he was so experienced in his role that he never showed any signs of stress.
My ultimate answer to this question is, and I have said it before, that after the event it is no good trying to look for an answer, reason or excuse, or looking to blame anything or any-one, it is what it is, accepting it has happened is the only answer.
There were no signs leading up to the stroke, in one second, this life, our life, came to an abrupt end, no warning, no preparation, no second chance and no turning the clock back, an unthinkable reality had entered our World, and would instantly take over our lives, and change them forever, whether we liked it or not. However, we had no idea what a tough journey we were about to embark on, we were to take an adventure that we could never dream we would be taking. I knew we were facing a mountain ahead, one that we would have to climb inch by inch to reach the top, to be able to see the view that we could no longer see, but I had no idea how long it would take.