In Memory Of Peter 'Peewee' Williamson


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Amy Taylor on 26/08/2018

In Memory Of Peter 'Peewee' Williamson

The early morning of Sunday 12th August is a day we shall never forget; the day my Grandad suffered a Cardiac Arrest and our lives changed forever. He had previously suffered a heart attack, but after a short stay in Intensive Care, came home to live a relatively normal life and it was a thing of the past.

Saturday night he spent having a couple of drinks with his partner Katie, and a few friends. All of a sudden, he fell to the floor, and was unresponsive. Luckily a worker at the bar called Anne was first aid trained and came to help rather sharpish. She performed CPR to get oxygen flowing back through his body, and he was later defibrillated. He was rushed to Hinchingbrooke Hospital, where they worked tirelessly to stabilise him. Once in a suitable state to move, he was then sent straight to Papworth Hospital.

The staff at Papworth are heart specialists so we knew he was in the best place at the time. He was sedated to prevent any further damage to organs that were already in a delicate state. We was straight over to Papworth around an hour behind Grandad, where we waited for what seemed like days; but was a matter of hours. The staff allowed us to see him, and made clear of the bad health he was now in. The first time I see him hooked up to all those machines, laying there absolutely lifeless was something that I cannot forget. I remember thinking that's not my Grandad, it can't be. My Grandad is always smiling. My Grandad is the strongest man I know. My Grandad will live forever.

In the four walls of that hospital, enough tears were cried by everyone that we probably could have flooded the entire top floor. Every hour of everyday the family was there, waiting with baited breath. I could have drove that journey with my eyes closed by the end. They had stabilised his heart, but their main concern was that he had not woken up after days of being off sedation and the problem with a Cardiac Arrest is that the brain gets starved of oxygen. It only takes 3 minutes of being down, for a brain to rapidly start deteriorating. They did two CT scans which showed he had a large swelling on the brain. After being at Papworth for a few days with not much progress, he was moved back to Hinchingbrooke.

Hinchingbrooke had him on 24/7 care, and was managing his medications for pain relief, diabetes, and high blood pressure, whilst also waiting to see whether he would arouse from the sleep he seemed so deeply in. We played videos to him to stimulate his senses, sang him songs, recalled memories. Unfortunately meeting after meeting with consultants, and nothing. No change, no progress, no light at the end of the tunnel. The brain damage was too extensive.

Our final meeting consisted of 'the talk'. The one we all dread. The one you think you are prepared for, but you aren't. The move to 'palliative care'. They made him as comfortable as they could, and it was a day or two later that he passed away.

Now comes the hard part. Living without him.
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