Daddy’s broken heart
My Adam lives on through the little boy he adored
My eyes shone with happy tears as I watched my husband Adam, then 38, cradle our newborn son.
‘I’m not being biased, but he’s absolutely perfect!’ Adam beamed.
It was March 2015, and I’d just given birth to little Ronnie.
It was a particularly special moment for Adam and me.
After marrying in September 2010, we’d been trying for a baby for years. But it just hadn’t happened for us, even with the help of fertility drug Clomid.
It was in July 2014, when Adam and I were about to give up hope, that I fell pregnant.
Adam was beyond excited to be a dad – and for good reason. Tragically, both his parents had died in a car accident when he was just a baby.
‘I want to give Ronnie everything I never had,’ Adam smiled proudly.
I didn’t doubt for a second he’d live up to his promise.
Back home, Adam doted on Ronnie. He was forever cuddling him. And he’d nudge me out the way to get to him first if he heard him stirring. ‘Stop hogging him!’ I’d tease. Adam amazed me every day with just how positive and upbeat he was. See, he had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a heart condition that causes the muscular wall of the heart to thicken. He’d been diagnosed aged 24, after passing out one night. The condition was believed to be genetic, so Ronnie
would need future tests, too. Adam was on meds to help manage the condition. And, although he faced a heart transplant in the future, he lived for the here and now. ‘That’s a long way off yet,’ he’d tell me. But, in October 2015, when Ronnie was only 6 months old, Adam caught a nasty chest infection. Poor thing really suffered, and had to be admitted to London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital. ‘I’ll be home before you know it,’ he smiled bravely. True to his word, he was, and life continued as normal. Only, in January last year, tests showed Adam’s heart was beating faster than it should. So he was sent to a specialist unit at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. He stayed there for the next few months, until, in the April, he had an op to fit a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) – a mechanical pump to help keep his heart beating.
By the summer, he was well enough to come home, but he was put on the transplant list in case he fell ill again.
Adam was so positive, we never thought that day would come. But that August, he took a sudden turn for the worse, and tests showed his kidneys were failing.
The right side of his heart just wasn’t coping with the LVAD. So he was put on the emergency transplant list.
Adam was in desperate need of a new heart – it was a race against time.
By the end of the month, his LVAD stopped working, and he needed emergency surgery to fit an external heart pump.
I spent the next few days by his bedside, while my parents watched Ronnie. Please pull through, I prayed. But, tragically, Adam never woke up from that final op.
On 9 September last year, my lovely husband died from multiple organ failure. He was just 39. The pain was indescribable. I didn’t know how to go on without him.
We’d planned our futures together. We had Ronnie, and so much to live for…
I spent the next few weeks in a numb haze.
Ronnie was just 18 months old – far too young to lose his precious Daddy.
I wanted him to grow up knowing just what an amazing man his dad was.
‘I won’t let Adam be forgotten,’ I told Mum.
So I’ve put together a memory box for when Ronnie’s older.
There are photos in there, some of Adam’s clothes and other bits and pieces. The pain is still raw. If a suitable heart had been found for Adam, his life might have been saved.
But I can’t afford to dwell on the ‘what ifs’…
I’ve got to be strong for Ronnie, who’s now 2.
He’ll need regular checkups and tests on his heart, too.
Thankfully, so far, there are no signs of him having a heart condition. But, whatever happens in the future, we’ll face it together.
And I’m sure Ronnie will grow up to take after Adam and remain upbeat no matter what happens.
I see so much of his daddy in him. He reminds me of Adam every day .
Adam died of a broken heart – literally.
But it’s the happiness he gave us that we’ll remember and keep alive forever.
Ronnie was 18 months – too young to lose his daddy
I’ll keep Adam’s memory alive for Ronnie
Doting dad Adam just couldn’t get enough cuddles!
He was always positive, even in hospital