My dad died today at about 5:25pm MST. I am so sad :( I miss my dad so much already.
I haven't been blogging because of things here. Following is what happened with my dad.
We had come to Edmonton last week because my dad was having surgery on Friday, February 8. He had his femoral arteries replaced with artificial ones all the way from his aorta to his groin. He needed the surgery because he had no circulation in his feet and without this surgery, his feet would have had to be amputated eventually.
The surgery was very, very risky because my dad's heart was not good and he had hardening or blockage in all of his arteries. It's a risky surgery anyways - according to one of the doctors, it's about the biggest surgery they do - and normally 5-7% of patients die after it. My dad was given about a 50% chance of living after the surgery, which weren't good odds but my dad wanted to go ahead with it anyway.
The surgery itself went very well and my dad did have circulation in his feet. On Saturday, my dad was awake and lucid and we talked to him. That night he started to become very confused and disoriented. He pulled out some tubes as well and threatened the nurses. They restrained him then so that he couldn't do those things any more.
From then to yesterday, my dad became less and less responsive and was very unsettled. They finally got him settled down with painkillers, but during this time the heart damage was continuing - it never stopped. They also thought that he had pneumonia.
By this morning, my dad was completely unresponsive and his kidneys and lungs were starting to fail. His heart was still being damaged - it seems as though he'd been having a heart attack for five straight days. My dad was also on maximal life support and the best they could get him to was stable; his condition never improved.
My dad didn't want to be on life support if there was no chance of reasonable quality of life, so in accordance with his wishes, we had all the meds and almost all of the tubes (except the painkillers) removed.
He died about two hours later. We were with him up until the end, crying, talking, laughing, and remembering him. He was very peaceful when he died and there was no struggle. We were grateful to have been there with him at the end.
The people at the hospital were amazingly helpful to us during all of this. They gave us a private room in which we could set up camp. They were kind and beautiful and they made the administrative process easier. They made a terrible thing bearable.
Donations to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada can be made in his name, Craig James.
Rest in peace, Pere. I miss you.