I got John back into bed, he was delirious and then he was sick. A friend of ours came and I asked his opinion. When he saw John he immediately called an ambulance.
At approximately 5pm the ambulance took John and myself to Hexham General Hospital. When we arrived he was semi-conscious, consultants were called out and they kept asking me different questions, but meningitis was never mentioned and was the furthest thing from my mind. A consultant told me he was very sick and would have to be transferred to The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, and until then he was taken to the critical care unit.
When he arrived at the RVI they put him onto a ventilator and said they would assess him in the morning. They told us meningitis was a possibility but would know more the next day.
Sunday 8th February
My daughter rang from Austria to see how her Dad was. I told her he was comfortable but was in hospital. She rang the hospital who told her to get home as soon as possible.
When my son, Michael, and I went into the hospital a doctor took us into a room and told us she had done a brain stem test and that John was brain dead. It still doesn't seem real. She explained another test would be carried out by a doctor from another hospital and if the findings were the same, the ventilator would be switched off. In my mind I thought they were talking possibly weeks or months before they switched it off, but when I asked when this would take place, she said, "this afternoon". It felt like a big stone had flattened me. I said they couldn't do that until my daughter came home. I can't remember very much of what I said, but we just sat with John and talked to him and I still expected him to open his eyes because he was breathing with the help of the ventilator.
Monday 9th February. 1am.
The doctor said it was time to switch the ventilator off and Michael and I went into the ward. I was silently willing John to breathe when the machine was switched off but after several minutes his heart stopped and I knew we had lost him.
Mandy and her family arrived about half an hour later and went to see her Dad - we were all in pieces.