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When the page can not be turned.

When you go to the doctors there is often a wait, there are magazines around to try to keep you entertained, often over a year old. Often we read one, idly flip through the pages until something grabs our attention, it’s a tragic story, only the sort you read about, you flip the page once finished, your name is called, the story forgotten. What if you couldn’t turn the page? There is never a time you can forget? That reality is my life, my daughters life, my wife’s life, my girlfriends life & our whole family’s life.

Let’s rewind to 2010 when my wife & I got married in England. It was small, seven people in attendance, it was on a snowy winters day at the registry’s office.

We went to a little French restaurant for our reception, it was a happy day. Eleven months later, we had purchased our own house, & welcomed a baby girl.

Life was hectic, but happy. We were a family that went out a lot together, having Jemima never stopped us, she leant to sleep anywhere.

Three years later we sold up & moved to a bigger house, our forever home. A log cabin style, in the hills literally among the gum trees. A spacious house big enough for another child as we were trying again.

That was not to be, after Kate had three miscarriages, the last being twins, she was told she really would have to be incredibly healthy & fit to try again, she wasn’t huge, but the weight loss began, after several diets she had a stomach sleeve done. Part of her stomach was removed so she could not eat too much.

The results were dramatic & exactly what she wanted. She was walking, running everything to get fit. Just as we were about to try again she needed her gall bladder removed, a not unusual side effect of the stomach sleeve.

All went well, we waited the six months, then mysteriously some pain no doctor could diagnose started. Finally after 12 months we were told it was her sphincter ovdi & she needed a stint & that will stop the pain.

We were told of the risks of surgery, just like most others pushed it aside that won’t happen to us.

The surgery was half an hour, it was done, Kate was in recovery. Then started to feel unwell, look unwell, her blood pressure went up. Pancreatitis was the diagnosis.

Within seven days, she had gone from walking 25kms the day before surgery, to suddenly very sick. I received a call from my mother in law at work, they are taking Kate to ICU you need to come.

Kate was sick, dealthly pale with a yellow tinge. Hardly able to move. They tried everything but she kept getting worse, finally a decision was made to put her in a induced coma & let her body heal, at least that was the plan.

Things went from bad to worse, within five days major surgery to clear out the infection in her gut. Then renal failure. I was beside myself this whole time, it was almost as if I was walking through my worst nightmare, on top of that I had to make all the medical decisions. I always consulted her parents, I couldn’t make them alone.

We were told to say goodbye, I tried, I did say it was ok but it wasn’t. It was far from ok. Somehow she pulled through, this went on for one month. Then they woke her up. Something was wrong, so wrong it wasn’t her.

They told me to give it time. One month later it was clear, she could not talk & could not move. Another month later she could leave icu for HDU.

It was here she was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury. There was unlikely to be a recovery. No one could tell us if she understood anything, if she remembers anything, we were clueless.

Over the next twelve months we discovered some of her was there, some things she understood, her memory was incomplete. I had completely broken down, I could not cope, then I did. The hardest thing I have ever done, to pull myself up & start living.

Our daughter was struggling, she was six when it happened too much for a six year old, I had a huge amount of support around me, we all did.

Two years ago kate moved into full time care, our relationship to a degree was over, but would always be there. She could not be there for me, support me, hug me, it was awful but the reality.

Fifteen months ago, I met someone, actually they chased me, I was reluctant my life was complicated. I gave it a shot, we are living together, she understands she shares my heart with Kate.

Now I am happy, there will always be sadness in me, our daughter & I visit Kate regularly, she is always happy to see us.

Life is full of challenges, I thought this was too much. I was wrong, it’s amazing what we can overcome.

Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in LGBTQ+, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Personal Narrative, True Story