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2015 i-CARE Finalist – Priya Kenny

Priya KennyFinalist

It all started in June 2010 when I was on holiday in Mauritius to visit my family. My dad was ill for quite a while before I arrived and while I was there I decided to give my mum and brother a break to help my dad as much as I could. During my six weeks there, I took good care of my dad and attended to his personal care and comforts. I also took care of his hospital appointments and visits from the doctor. I also decorated his room with fresh paint, new furniture and flowers, which pleased my dad no end. I was up most nights with dad to toilet him and comfort him through his pain and suffering.

A few weeks later when my dad realised I would be leaving soon he started to go downhill rapidly and that upset me. He told me that I would make a good carer if I ever thought of working in that environment. I told my dad that I would think about it and we carried our conversation on as normal laughing and joking. After a few seconds he broke into tears by saying that when I leave for IRELAND that he will go to (heaven).

A week before my holiday ended my dad had taken a bad turn Sunday evening and we rushed him to the hospital and he was kept in for the night. Monday morning we went to visit him there, and we noticed he was shivering. The staff had placed my dad along the window, which he didn’t like and his drip was hanging from the window pole. We informed a member of staff of our predicament and asked our dad to be moved away from the window, but nothing was done and then we decided to take him home. We all knew dad would be happier among his family who cared for him and loved him.

The next few days dad had stopped eating and drinking and on Wednesday night we called the doctor for my dad and he told us that he did not have long to live. Thursday went by and dad was still the same and we all took it in turn to give him a spoon of water to wet his lips and to make him as comfortable as possible. I kept checking on him during the night to make sure he was comfortable. The doctor prescribed diffeine for my dad to take every couple of hours as pain relief.

Friday morning his condition deteriorated and his eyes started to close, and he was getting weaker by the hour. I was very frustrated to be going back to Ireland and leaving my dad in this way. I phoned British Airways to postpone my flight for a week, only to be told that there were no more flights until September (a month later). I had no choice but to leave on that Saturday. My children needed to go back to school and my partner had to go back to work. I had to pack our suitcases that Friday night knowing my dad would be leaving us, I did not show my sadness deep down but my dad knew he was leaving us.

The tears were coming down his eyes and a short time later he closed his eyes fully. We were all saying our goodbyes and it was very hard for myself and my family to let go. All the family were awake all night, and the next day (July 31st) the funeral took place, my dad was cremated at 10 o’clock that morning. After the funeral, at 2pm we went to the airport leaving all of my family behind. I haven’t been back to Mauritius since that day, as I can’t face going into my mother’s house without my dad not being there as I miss him so much. At the same time I know my dad is not suffering anymore and I know my family did the best for him in every possible way.

When I got back to Ireland after a few weeks, I remembered what my dad had said and then I made a decision to do a course in healthcare and I have never looked back since. I enjoy being a carer and I will care for each client as I cared for my dad.