Monday, February 02, 2004

Well we have had a pretty extraordinary time since I last wrote anything here!

Just after my last entry, we received a phone call from Orynthia’s sister saying that we should get to the hospital as soon as possible. We dashed off as quickly as we could, and when we arrived things were looking very, very worrying. During the afternoon and evening the rest of the family arrived, and we took turns sitting with Don and talking about all sorts of memories. It was a long and frightening experience, only eased by the shared feeling of bemused and shocked support that we took from each other.

After the other patient’s visitors had left we were still sitting anxiously around the bedside, when a strange thing happened. One of the other patients put on a cassette of some wonderful old Frank Sinatra songs. The mood on the ward seemed to change, Orynthia’s mum was convinced that Don could hear the songs and somehow the level of tension seemed to drop by a few notches. Eventually we made our way home, making sure that no-one would be stuck at home without transport, tried to sleep (without much success) and hoped that the phone would not ring in the night. Obviously we cancelled our planned trip to Bilbao.

Saturday morning came, without disturbance. Don had been stable overnight and by the time we got to the hospital, he appeared to be a little brighter. Once again the whole family were in attendance, so as well as sitting with Don, we sat in the day room in small groups and also chatted to other patients who were very supportive. It was decided that most of the family would come back to our house for a traditional Burmese meal at the end of the day, and amazingly we left the hospital sufficiently heartened by the day’s progress to turn the meal into a mini celebration, which had the feeling of a Christmas gathering.

Once again Saturday evening saw family members sleeping over, at various homes. The night passed peacefully and when we went into the hospital on Sunday, amazingly Don was sitting up, eyes open and talking. The sense of relief and joy was really incredible. Some of things he was saying were more than a bit confused, but after 48 hours of being out of it, who could blame him. In fact some of the things he said caused us to laugh out loud and brilliantly he joined in! His face turning into a huge beaming smile, one of the most fantastic sights I have ever seen. Sunday evening saw another mass meal this time at Don’s brothers house, with everyone in high spirits.

He still has a long way to go, but the events of this remarkable weekend will live with all of us for a very long time.


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