Daddy’s bro­ken heart

My Adam lives on through the lit­tle boy he adored

Chat - - Inside - By Emma Beale, 35, from Chelmsford

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

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