Following are update emails sent by Miriam Kilby, Rosanne Day and Howard Kilby over the 3 month period following a tragic motor vehicle accident in Portugal on the morning of April 3rd. Their mother, Angela Kilby, died in the accident and their father, Nigel Kilby, was seriouly injured. Nigel died peacefully in hospital in Ottawa on July 11th. Nigel and Angela were, at the time of the accident, on vacation in Portugal with friends.
To all our dear loving friends and family,
It is with great grief and sadness that I tell you that my forever loving Mom, Angela Kilby died yesterday morning, April 3rd. While vacationing in Portugal, and on their way to the airport for their next port of call, my parents, Nigel and Angela were involved in a car accident. It happened at 4:15 am, a paper delivery truck was driving on the wrong side of the road, my Dad swerved to avoid it, but the passenger side took the impact.
We need your prayers and love, for healing for my Dad. He is in a hospital in Faro, Portugal. This morning he is in ICU and being moved to orthopaedics. He has a fractured rib which punctured his lung. A crack in his pelvis. His arm is casted but needs an operation to put a pin in his arm. They need to do this operation before he can come home. It is suggested he will need a couple of weeks to heal following the surgery. His lung needs to heal also before he can fly home. He has many friends there so he isn't alone.
My Mom's life and legacy allows us to know her spirit will live on in all of us. She had such a positive impact on so many lives and hearing these stories comforts us greatly. Know that her desire is for life to keep on living. Live it to the fullest! My Mom was so action oriented - no hesitation to love, share her love and be a doer.
I am searching for a way to take this great tragedy and turn it into a positive. My immediate thought is for the garden at St Paul's Church (our home and church community) to have plants, trees, soil etc, donated in her name. I will forward details soon on how you can donate to this or another cause if my Mom inspires us otherwise.
Please hold my family, my brother Howard, his wife Phyllis and son Alexander, my sister Rosanne and her husband Jim and my family Paul, and sons Owen, Leo and Noah in your thoughts and prayers.
Please pray for ease in dealing with life insurance, travel insurance coverage, and any logistical difficulties that are coming up.
My parents live around the corner from our house so play a huge role in our lives. We have countless memories of time spent together. My boys will miss their Granny and we are all worried about Grandpa as have yet to speak to him - news is coming in through Ivan, a friend from Kanata who's in Portugal too.
We appreciate the outpouring of love and support. The stories are playing such a huge role in dealing with our loss. Please share them.
If you feel the need to contact anyone of us, Howard, Rosanne or myself, please do, phone numbers and e-mail below. We are open and willing to share and grieve with you.
If you need to come, Father John is holding a prayer time tomorrow, April 5th, before the Maundy Thursday Service, from 7:00 - 7:30 pm at St Paul's Church, 20 Young Rd Kanata to hold up Dad and the family in prayer. The Easter Maundy Thursday Service follows it at 7:30 pm.
A celebration for my Mom's life will happen after we get my Dad home.
May God Bless you all!
Dear Friends and Family,
Where do I begin in thanking you for your heartfelt tears, love, support, and prayers? Not to forget the ring at the door bell and endless hugs? Food deliveries, phone calls, e-mails, cards, flowers, stories of my parents and even smiles and laughter?
Thank you all - we are feeling it.
Please keep calling and dropping by. Now, I'm finding the grief very heavy and reaching out for help is difficult. We love the visits - our 4 yr old Noah put it so clearly to his friend Marten yesterday: "We are sad because my Granny died. Tell your mom and dad that you all need to come here and visit. O. K.?"
It's hard to believe that only 11 days have passed. The emotional intensity is so strong - yet we give thanks for it, as it means we are alive and able to "live life to the fullest" as Angela so taught us to do! The pain in the heart comes and goes. Now I truly understand what it is to feel loss.
Howard and Phyllis are in Portugal now - they arrived Wed morning. Nigel was moved from Emergency ICU to regular ICU yesterday. The change of Doctor allowed them to stretch the rules that day - letting both Howard and Phyllis to stay with Dad for 4 hours. Dad is stable, but not in the clear. He has a lung infection (pneumonia) that they are treating with multiple antibiotics and he hasn't had a fever for 3 days. For now, the Dr is leaving the arm to heal without an operation. There was no mention of the crack in the pelvis - my doctor friend here tells me it's likely to heal with time. Friday, he had the first soft foods and loved the applesauce and yogurt that Phyllis fed him. H & P saw smiles and grins at times. Also a first since their arrival, all very encouraging.
Dad spoke to them quite a bit, he sends his love. Luckily, I called Howard's cell at the right time and was also able to speak to him. It was hard to recognize his voice - he sounded very slow and slurred. However, he did tell me to persevere, that we have a long road ahead and the boys need me.
Howard told me he was even trying to get up - he told him to slow down. To take baby steps. He's receiving great care and relieved for the move to this ward - the Dr he has is the head of ICU and very caring - and the English speaking nurse helps a lot as she can provide immediate translation.Dr in Portugal prefers that he heals there before flying home, the estimate now is 6 weeks. But this may change, as there are many unknowns with the insurance. The police report was released and Dad is not to blame in the accident. The most likely explanation is that the other driver fell asleep as he has no recollection of how he ended up on the other side of the road. Howard will be speaking with insurance companies next week and if necessary a lawyer - as both the Cdn consulate in Lisbon and the medical staff there are recommending. There's also the priority of taking care of Angela, she will be cremated there as per her wishes and Howard will know more on that next week.
I will continue to keep you all informed on my Dad's progress. I'm comforted by the prayers for healing for Dad, for the prayers and support for our family. Please continue to pray for healing for Nigel, for support for Howard and Phyllis as they deal with logistical challenges in Portugal.
For now H&Ps son Alexander is staying with my sister in Brandon and we have their dog Gizmo. Yesterday evening, we gathered with Mom and Dad's Friday evening dance group - many from their Ottawa dance community gathered to tribute Angela with her favourite dances. Later today we will go to my parent's house to do some yard work and feel the life of her garden.
I'm finding comfort in photos - we have so many - I've attached a few for you.
Love, Peace and May God Bless you.
(From all of us - Howard, Phyllis, and Alexander, Rosanne and Jim, Paul, Owen, Leo and Noah)
P.S.: There have been several news articles and a video clip which can be found at the links below:
There's some good news on my Dad today:
Nigel has been moved to from the ICU to his own room, with a window and a tv in orthopedics. Phyllis and Howard can now visit him at the same time which is really nice. He can manage a conversation though it takes awhile to do so mostly in part to his pain medication. Very difficult for him to be comfortable. He manages the odd smile which warms their souls. Unsure of when they are going to do the operation on his arm. The help there is excellent, the facilities are extremely clean but the bed is a bit dated, Dad may say a little different as due to his condition when they move him the pain is excruciating. His lung infection is a little better. Baby steps we keep telling Dad it's all good.
The doctors figure at least 4 weeks until he is able to travel, so we are probably looking at sometime in June for Angela's celebration. Of course we will keep everyone posted. The funeral in Portugal for the cremation is happening next Wed, April 25th at 2 pm their time (9am for us in Ontario). Please surround us with love and prayers at that time.
Thank you so much for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers. It is so much appreciated. Rosanne spoke to my Dad for the first time today – she felt it was so uplifting to hear his voice. Howard has been relaying your messages to him. My brother now has internet access at the hospital, so if you would like to send any news his way that he can read to Nigel, e-mail:
Our love to you all on behalf of all of our families,
Miriam, Rosanne and Howard
Thank you so much for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers. It is so much appreciated. I spoke to my Dad for the first time today – it was so uplifting to hear his voice. We have been relaying your messages to him. My brother now has internet so if you would like to send any news his way that he can read to Nigel
Nigel has been moved to from the ICU to his own room, with a window and a tv in orthopedics. Phyllis and Howard can now visit him at the same time which is really nice. He can manage a conversation though it takes awhile to do so mostly in part to his pain medication. Very difficult for him to be comfortable. He manages the odd smile which warms their souls. Unsure of when they are going to do the operation on his arm. The help there is excellent, the facilities are extremely clean but the bed is a bit dated, Dad may say a little different as due to his condition when they move him the pain is excruciating. His lung infection is a little better. Baby steps we keep telling dad it's all good.
The doctors figure at least 4 weeks until he is able to travel, so we are probably looking at sometime in June for Angela's celebration. Of course we will keep everyone posted.
Our love to you all on behalf of all of our families,
Two posts by Howard this morning on Facebook, both very positive:
"Dad doing a little better , off the oxygen, He had a nice chat with his grand children and miriam, Gave him a shave the care is better in orthopaedics as they are more careful when they move him. He said in spite of a nightmare that he woke with today He said it was a good day , I thinking talking to his grand kids really helped along with everyones prayers and kind thoughts. My love to you all. Keep up the good work."
This one still has me laughing: "Dad was explaining to the Portuguese nurse yesterday that due to the lack of flesh on his body, as you know dad is a thin man , even thinner since the accident, he was finding it very hard to find a comfortable position in bed. This often a going concern for dad ,understandably so, lately. the nurse then asked "what part of your body that is lacking of flesh can I help you with" With out missing a beat, my dad replies "My penis". The male nurse then said "I will have to get one of the female nurses to help you with that". I think Phyllis was more shocked than the nurse as she started to giggle with a slightly more reddened face than that of the nurses. Phyllis later told me she thought she was going to wet her self when Dad came out with that. A good heartfelt laughter ,all round. Just what we all needed and soaked in. Dad had a few laughs yesterday but this was his best. Just wanted you to know Dad is regaining his sense of humour. Not that I think it has left him for long by the way the nurses are treating him, Its too bad the language barrier often leaves them with puzzled looks, as much as it does laughter. Well as we all well know, laughter is truly the best medicine. With Dads spirit, and sense of humour in tact a full recovery is surly on the horizon. Its nice when the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train. Thanks again for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. It seems to be working. Our love to you all ."
Dear Friends and Family,
Since Monday, my Dad's health has turned the corner. He continues to be in the intermediate ICU ward which limits the visiting hours for Howard and Phyllis, but keeps him under the care of more doctors and nurses. He will likely stay in that ward under the care of Dr Pepe until his return to Canada. The date for that is still unknown. The doctor and Nigel are both hoping to have the arm operation there, but that is still up in the air.
Nigel is responding to the antibiotics that they are giving him and the fever is gone. He's coughing all the crap out of lungs. Dad's fighting bacterial pneumonia.
Yesterday and today, he sat in a chair for a few hours at a time. Dad wants to eat, get out of bed and move more, Howard and Phyllis keep reminding him of baby steps. Howard said the change in him from Sunday to Monday in his mood and talking abilities, felt like a world record breaking long jump. Some may say Miraculous. Howard told Dad we are on the "return to Canada program" and his eyes smiled wildly confirming he is up to the challenge.
Prayers are requested for strength to return to his muscles to make moving more possible. Nigel is frustrated by his lack of strength and anxious about it. He needs to be stronger before he can come home.
In my first e-mail, I mentioned that we would be adding to the garden at St Paul's Church in memory of my Mom. They are creating a memorial garden there this weekend. People can donate to specific plants, trees etc, in memory of a loved one. Beyond that garden, I will be taking on the responsibility of some garden space at our church, planting many colourful annuals all around the building so that when the time comes for Angela's funeral celebration here, it will look amazing. If you'd like to donate to the garden fund, please send cheques, payable to St Paul's Church Kanata, in memory of Angela Kilby. Mail to: 20 Young Rd, Kanata ON, K2L 1W1. Include your name to be added to a memorial book to be kept in the church chapel.
If you'd like to volunteer your time and muscles this Saturday, May 12th, from 9 am - noon, they will be doing a church clean-up and planting the memorial garden. We will be in Toronto this weekend for Owen's dance competition so we won't be able to be there. If you'd like to garden with me at another time please e-mail me or call 613-836-0820. I would love help and company gardening at my parent's house also.
Alexander is staying with us and attending the alternate school in Stittsville, he is doing remarkably well. We are all managing with the change in our lives, still missing Mom of course and anxious about Dad's return. I've had a couple of really "up" days, feeling more like my old self. It helps to be buying colourful annuals for my back garden pots, a love and excitement I always shared with Mom.
I hope you too are transitioning into a brighter and cheerier place in regards to the news of Angela's death and my Dad's accident. It's amazing with time how the pain isn't so great. It's easier now also to be positive with the good news of my Dad's recovery.
Please continue to keep Dad in your prayers. Thanks and hugs to all of you
Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
A post from Howard today:
"Dad's doing much better, relatively speaking. He is not going to have his arm operated on until they are certain that the infection is gone, that will be confirmed in about nine days. The operation will probably happen when he returns to Canada. He has started eating soft foods and drinking again, he was given a shower today. His mobility is very limited, but improving very slowly. He is capable of conversation and the odd joke, and some of them are very odd indeed. Part of his daily routine is sitting in a chair for a few hours and looking for birds outside the window. He is frustrated with his lack of mobility. Keep him in your prayers. Posted a pic. Take note of his left hand. Our love to you all."
Love to you and yours,
Miriam, Howard and Rosanne and families
P.S. I must share this awesome Mother's day story Howard posted on Facebook, not only did my Mom have a way with words.
Mum, I spent Mother's day celebrating with Phyllis making her day special. Took her on a mystery tour that started with a drive to Spain along the southern coast of Portugal then a more northerly return route through the more isolated hilly back country, thought of you often with every flower and magnificent landscape we saw throughout the day.
There was a part of the day that I felt you were letting us know you were with us. It was when I decided to follow some tourist sign to an archaeological site, but the car wouldn't go up this hill. I tried more than once and each time the car refused to climb this hill. It was like it was in the wrong gear, no power, but it was in 1st gear and still it wouldn't go up this hill, the tires weren't spinning on the gravel. I was completely baffled, so I gave up this part of the adventure.
As I backed down this steep narrow gravel road with a drop off on one side, I found myself thinking of the many times Nigel had gotten you into similar situations, this memory was brought on by me hearing the same shrieks of terror coming from Phyllis, that I had heard from you on a bus ride on Majorca.
I remember it well. I was twelve. It was while we were living in France and we took a family vacation to the Spanish Islands in the Mediterranean. The bus trip took us along mountain roads at night. The driver was chain smoking cigarettes, to calm his nerves. The driver would honk his horn to make any oncoming traffic aware that there was no room for any one else on these switchback mountain roads. I remember hearing the shared shrieks coming from you and the old dear clenched firmly on your right arm, as the front of the bus would overhang the roads with the cliff-side in plain view in the moonlight below. A ride of true terror as I remember you retelling it, but the rest of the family at the back of the bus were enjoying the thrill ride from our less precarious perspective and joined in with laughter and shrieks of our own.
Not long after getting back on the road I followed another tourist sign to another archaeological site. Not to be outdone for missing the last opportunity, but true to Kilby form took a wrong turn and ended driving right into a local artesan fair. There were local arts and crafts, food and wine for purchase. Live music and dancing all being thoroughly enjoyed by the eclectic group gathered by the local community centre, in the dwindling strength of the afternoon Portuguese sunshine. Though the strength of the sunshine was dwindling, it appeared to have no effect on the thirst of local men gathered by the makeshift bar enjoying sharing many stories, laughter and eating local tidbits of dried meat and fish and my favourite concoction of a bread bun filled with cheese, onions and local dried sausage slices that were being baked in an outdoor wood fired oven by two elderly Portuguese ladies.
I felt like you had guided us there preventing us from spending the afternoon at some sun-baked ruin and instead brought us to a different location that was full of life and all its local splendour for us to enjoy as you and Nigel have done so many times in so many countries.
Phyllis and I had a marvellous day that was free of mourning tearfully, instead it was a day mourned in remembrance of the all the joy and splendour life has to offer as demonstrated by you, my Mother.
But today is a little different as I read posts of those celebrating their Mothers or their memory of them as I find myself doing as I post this new found favourite picture of you. The tears begin to flow, but thanks to who you were, and who you made me into, I chose to share yesterday's story to turn those tears drying on my cheeks into smiles of reflection. Thanks Mum.
Loving you today as I did everyday. Miss you terribly, but finding you in those who loved you has been very comforting. You did so much, for so many and expected so little in return other than love and respect.
You continue to live on in the hearts of so many and also for that I am truly grateful and blessed, I am looking forward to bringing you home soon, so we can all celebrate our lives together. The tears keep coming as I write this, but as I hear your "there, there, everything will be ok" and feel the gentle stroking of your hand across my head, I know you will be with me forever in my soul for I am part of you and I will do my best to comfort others who see you in me as they comfort me when I see you in them.
Here's today's great posts from Howard:
"Dad is very excited about his return to Ottawa. Once again take note of his left hand. He was thanking Family, Friends and God, to make this possible. This is my Hero. He battled death twice to pull this off. Give him all the love, strength and support that he deserves upon his return. We are going to be leaning on you all now even more now to help Dad with his rehabilitation. Our love and thanks to you all."
Thank you for your continued prayers.
Dad is now settled at the Trauma ward in the Ottawa Civic. Spent the day at the Emergency ward waiting for him to come to after the heavy sedative and morphine he was given for the flight. Prayed, read to him and sang to him. Had a few muffled words and managed to give him a wee bit to drink. I look forward to seeing him today, hopefully he will have his eyes open. Visiting hours are limited now. Will have more information about that later today. Rosanne and Jim arriving shortly, we will go directly to the hospital to see him and get the Drs update.
The few moments he was awake he was trying to move his arms and feet - I could tell it was to try and build strength. That's my Dad - a real fighter.
Pray for continued healing for Nigel, that he be strong and infection free so the arm can still be operated on. May he feel His presence always.
Love to you and your,
Miriam and family
How awesome the last few days have been for Nigel's road to recovery! In his first alert/aware day on Saturday, he said "It's a long road ahead, a long way to Tipperary". He is quite comfortable in his own room at the Trauma Ward at the Civic hospital. He's blown away by how great all the staff are at the ward - top notch, hand picked, for what I hear is the newest ward at the hospital.
Everyday, from morning to night we see improvements in Dad's health. Just about all the tubes and monitors have been removed. He is gaining mobility in his body - since Sunday evening he's been able to move his own electronic bed up and down. I set him up with a table over his bed so he could manage his own water. These baby steps are all part of his return to independence and gaining confidence in his movement. He started physio and has had his feet on the ground, with their help.
Dad's wit is very much intact. Although many of his jokes are not understood by the staff he's usually directing them to, with his help, I learn where they are coming from. He's always been a fan of the pun and many references are personal so it can be a challenge - a welcome one for sure.
On Monday, Rosanne, Jim and Alexander took advantage of him being in a wheel chair, to get him outside. He wanted us to e-mail out that he got some air up his gown and "felt like a Flying Scotsman".
They are hoping to perform the surgery on his arm today. He was on call yesterday for the surgery but after 5 pm got the call that it wouldn't happen. Today, he is still waiting and extremely anxious about it. Phyllis is with him now.
As for visitors, I'm calling the few people he's asking for. I know many of you are anxious to see him, but understand that he's not quite ready for a steady flow yet. I will e-mail out once he gives the green light for that.
Phyllis and Howard returned yesterday from Portugal, so we had a bit of a family reunion in Dad's room. Rosanne and Jim are flying home now, their visit went by so fast.
Prayers are requested for Dad's arm surgery, that it will happen today and go very well. For his continued recovery and return to strength and mobility. Please pray that he can eat - one of his greatest fears is that he chokes while eating. Swallowing provides a great challenge for him so he's being supplemented by tube feed, through his nose.
Please continue to pray for our family. That "angels" appear when we are feeling alone, overwhelmed or uncertain in living our lives without our Mom and in caring for our Dad.
Thanks to you all,
Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
Hi to all!
The time is flying so quickly - how can it possibly be only 10 weeks since this life changing accident?
For me right now, it's hard to imagine that life can ever measure up to before the accident, but I trust once I have my Dad back in full gear that life will be much more bearable. I sure hope so.
Dad did have his arm surgery late last Wednesday. The metal plates are in and he's getting close to being the "million dollar man". His progress continues with just about all the tubes removed from his body. His bladder is being retrained and soon his nose feeding tube will be removed. Smaller challenges keep coming up which seem to slow down the rehab, low blood sugar, bleeding nose, and for the last 2 days nausea which is preventing him from eating. Eating remains a challenge, please keep praying that this challenge be removed.
He is gaining more mobility and strength in his muscles. His greatest pain is from bed sores on his bottom. With help and support from the 2 physios yesterday, he managed a few steps at the parallel bars. I asked him about it and he said the nausea was the hardest part. After 3 steps he was exhausted, regardless the physios were ecstatic.
Howard and I try to see Dad daily. I will be dropping by with the boys after haircuts this evening. Dad is asking for a few visitors, I will contact you directly. If you'd like to send any messages or cards, by e-mail or snail mail to my address: 107 Oakburn Rd Kanata ON K2L 1E5, and I can bring them to him.
Rosanne is returning next Saturday for a week. Her presence and support is so awesome and so needed by me right now. Paul injured his back at work yesterday, moving concrete samples. He went straight to physio last night and to massage this a.m. so praying for a quick recovery. There's only so much a gal can handle...
You'll be happy to hear that I was visiting Nigel Friday night with the kids and had the music turned up as the boys were performing a few dance moves for him. For a few moments it felt like a regular party. Smiling nurses were stopping in to have a look. Doubt any room on that ward has ever seen so much movement and energy!!! Between the boys playing in the wheelie chair and the pirouettes it was quite something. Dad's sparkle in his eyes spoke volumes. Howard brought by some party shirts to give a little colour to the ward - we hope to see him in them soon!
Thanks for the continued support and prayers. I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but my feeling is that the celebration for Angela will not happen this summer. Dad's recovery will need some time and as we all know the experience will need him to be well first. I will continue to keep you posted.
Thank you for the donations for the Memorial Garden in the name of my Mom. If you'd like to still donate, please do, in case you need it, here's the info again. Please send cheques, payable to St Paul's Church Kanata, in memory of Angela Kilby. Mail to: 20 Young Rd, Kanata ON, K2L 1W1. Include your name to be added to a memorial book to be kept in the church chapel. I've brought in the ones that have been mailed to me.
Love Miriam, Rosanne, Howard and our gorgeous families.
It's with such disbelief to share today that my Dad is in a coma. At 3:45 am he had a low blood sugar of 1.2, at the time was conscious and asking for sugar, but by the return of the nurse minutes later with juice, he was unconscious and suffering a seizure.
He was administered glucose and seizure medication and had a CT scan. He was still not responding so they inserted a breathing tube and sedative. This afternoon the EEG and MRI indicated that there was nothing abnormal to explain his "altered level of consciousness".
The hypothesis is that my Dad is suffering some brain injury from the hypoglycaemia and seizure. Usually in time, people come out of this type of injury.
We are so shocked by all of this as last Tuesday, Dad was transferred out of the Trauma unit, down the hall to General surgery recovery. He was getting stronger everyday. They removed the feeding tube. He did have low blood sugars several nights in a row but despite that, yesterday, the liaison from the Ottawa Rehab hospital came in to tell my Dad and Rosanne that today he would be transferred there. Rosanne was on the was to the new facility with Dad's suitcase when I got the call from the ICU Doctor at the Civic.
Naturally, WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS. For healing for Nigel in all areas, that he comes out of this trauma and unconscious state. Be with all of our family as we wait. May we continue to hold strong in our faith that Dad will survive.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.
Love and God Bless you and yours,
Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
To our dear prayer warriors,
Dad has been responsive since 5 am this morning. Thanks be to God.
He is not under any sedative now so needs natural rest to come to feel comfort. He has a breathing tube down his throat, which seems to be the most challenging for him right now. Pray that he can breathe without it. When he falls asleep, he's not breathing enough on his own. Until he can, it will be in to assist him.
Rosanne and I were with him this morning. It was not easy to watch him struggle and look so desperate, but we do so with love and tenderness to try and comfort Dad. Howard is going there shortly to assess if his being there can be of help to him.
Nigel needs more rest time to heal.
We will get through this.
Miriam, Howard and Rosanne and our families.
To our dear friends and family,
Prayers for my Dad's breathing and healing are being answered. About 20 mins after yesterday's e-mail request, I received a call from Howard reporting that Dad was breathing well enough on his own to have the breathing tube removed. I told this story later in the day to Owen and Leo and their thought was that the great number of people praying for Grandpa allowed the message to get to God faster.
Dad is speaking now and becoming more aware with time. His brain remains pretty foggy but is slowly improving. Even in my 2 hour visit today I noticed more clarity in him. Howard has seen this happen 2 times before in Portugal and I experienced the same with the sedation wearing off after his flight to Ottawa. We remain hopeful that his dementia is temporary.
Rosanne and Howard spent most of the day with him today and managed to be present for the Dr's rounds. This was very helpful to have direct input in Dad's care. Naturally we are taking advantage of their services to set forth a plan to better manage Dad's diabetes, especially the low blood sugars he's been having.
Word is he will stay in ICU until there is a room available in Trauma.
As always, thank you for your love and support. It's in knowing that we can lean on so many of you, even if only via e-mail, that we can remain strong. We look forward to the day that we can be sharing our stories in person.
Love Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
To Nigel's Cheering Team,
We thank you for your prayers, support and healing thoughts for our Dad - it is truly working.
Wednesday night, Dad was moved out of ICU and returned to his room where the hypoglycaemia and seizure occurred, on the General surgery recovery ward at the Civic. We received this news by phone at 9pm and we were extremely shocked and uncertain in the care he would be receiving. Rosanne went to be with him to settle him in. Dad's vitals were good, but he was still experiencing memory loss and confusion.
Thursday morning, I woke up mad - angry that this had happened at all, angry with the hospital team for letting us down and especially frustrated with the thought that the Dad I knew may not return. I spent the day at the hospital talking to each and every specialist involved with my Dad's care. I was reassured this should not have happened, and will not happen again. One of the things that has changed is the targets for my Dad's blood sugars - for now they are going after higher numbers to assure he doesn't have any more lows. I'm now even more involved in his care and receiving regular updates from nurses and doctors, so that I know of any changes and be able to tell my Dad. We are learning how essential it is to have an obvious advocate present at the hospital.
Throughout the day, Dad's clarity slowly returned. Today he seemed almost as with it as when we left him last Sunday evening. He has regained his strength and is right back where he left off with his physio. Now we wait for his appetite to get stronger, to have the night feeding tube removed from his nose and pray that his bladder will work again and not rely on the catheter.
We wait until he's ready to move to the Ottawa Rehab hospital. I would imagine they won't be rushing Nigel out of the Civic after everything that has happened. Thankfully, Dad has no memory of the event and the days that followed in ICU. I am grateful that we were not one of the families we witnessed in ICU, who had to say goodbye to their loved one. Obviously, God has great plans for Nigel, I sure look forward to being a part of them!
Prayers for our family for easier days ahead. May Nigel's healing continue and me he return home whole in strength and spirit very soon.
Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families.
Dear Friends and Family,
We thank God for Nigel's strong will to live. For his ability to make it back to Ottawa despite so many physical obstacles. We are thankful for the chance to spend time with him again, to love and care for him, to talk to him and especially to say goodbye.
Yesterday, we followed through with Dad's wishes to be removed from life support. We asked for a chance to have the sedative lowered and we all could speak to him with his eyes open. We sang to him and told him he was the best Dad and Grandpa. Father John was with us and provided much needed comfort, support and prayer.
Dad's ventilator was removed, his strong heart allowed for many hours sitting with him, us telling stories, laughter and campfire songs. Phyllis, Rosanne and Jim witnessed his peaceful passing at 5:15 am as the sun was rising.
As Howard wrote: "There is great solace in knowing that he is once again with his wife and many others who were awaiting his passing. Please don't allow your grief to wallow in sadness for long. That isn't the way Angela and Nigel lived their lives. I look forward to seeing many of you soon to help our family celebrate the lives of our amazing parents. I ask you the next time you wear something bright and colourful, think of my parents as they would love the tribute. I thank you all for support that you have shown and continue to show our family in our time of need. It has given and continues to give us great comfort. Our love goes out to you all."
We will be in touch over the next days as we work out the immediate details.
As always, thanks for your prayers. With them we have been witness to miracles, to feel strength, grace, hope and laughter. Thanks for carrying us through.
Love Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
Thank you for all your kind words, memories and warm hearts.
We are celebrating Dad's passing as Father John and Father Craig lead us through prayers and a memorial service this Friday the 13th (!) at 11 am at St Paul's Church, 20 Young Rd, Kanata.
As Howard writes: "Nigel will be there with his party shirt on. So I will expect you to do the same. The dress code is loud shirts and summery dresses. Dad will be cremated after the service. Light snacks and fond memories to be served afterwards."
We will celebrate both Angela and Nigel's amazingly full and colourful lives on September 22 at 1 pm also at St Paul's, details will follow later in the summer.
Dear Friends and Family,
There have been a few more pieces in the media since Dad's passing that you might like to read. The one on t.v. makes me laugh every time, the clip of them singing captures Mom and Dad so well.
The service was amazing in it's celebratory spirit. Howard, Rosanne and I loved seeing so many people from our lives. We remarked how are faces were hurting from all the smiling. The colourful crowd of Hawaiian shirts and summer dresses was perfect in setting the tone. We look forward to the event on September 22 when we will have the chance to honour our parents in a way they would like. Now we have time to prepare speeches, slide show, music and more. Dad always wanted a New Orleans style, dixieland jazz band for his funeral, anyone have any connections/suggestions?
Following the service, we all headed to the lake to recover, toast with Mom's favourite G&T and play with the kids. On Sunday, Rosanne and Jim returned to Brandon. Howard, Phyllis and Alexander stayed at the trailer. Paul, the boys and I spent the week at Waupoos Family Farm, about 30 mins from here. It offers vacations to low income families. We were the host family, leading activities like crafts and games, to the campers there. Although the first days were pretty foggy for me, the experience was amazing and well timed. The kids played outside constantly and we enjoyed the company of the families and the beautiful environment. For the Talent Show, I performed a song Dad did when I was a kid: "My hat it has 3 corners" and even managed the actions - he was definitely present.
Now, as executor, with Howard's help, we are getting the paperwork moving in managing my parent's estate. Howard is dealing with the insurance company in Portugal and we will propose a settlement. I try not to stress on how this will all get done, the timing is challenging with our boys being on summer holidays and needing attention and fun! We would love to keep Mom and Dad's house in the family so both families, Howard's and mine, will "try it out" with some vacation time there. The thought of clearing their place excites and overwhelms me. Forty-six years in the same house attracts a lot of stuff from our war children parents.
Paul has started a 3-day workweek to focus more energy on our family and finding a job with a strong sense of purpose and closer to home. His work as an engineer at a consulting firm that deals with civil and environmental engineering lacks in using his talents. He excels with people, a creative thinker and I think he'd be great in sales. Let me know if you have any ideas/leads in Ottawa.
Howard's family and myself met with a counsellor yesterday to start opening communication for dealing with our grief. The experience for me was excellent and I look forward to having Paul there next time. It's hard to imagine how we will get through this, missing Angela and Nigel is a regular feeling.
Tomorrow night, the Glen Cairn tennis club, which Nigel was a founder, will have a wine and cheese for the members, with a toast to Dad at 9pm. People are invited to share their stories. My family will attend.
All the best to you and yours. May you be living life to the fullest!
Blessings and Peace, from Miriam
(Howard and Rosanne and our families)
Dear Friends and Family,
Just two days shy of their 52nd Wedding Anniversary, please join us in celebrating the lives of our parents, Angela and Nigel Kilby.
On September 22, 2012 at 1 pm
At St Paul's Church, 20 Young Rd, Kanata
Light refreshments, music and dancing following the service.
In honour of our parents, please dress in your most cheery and bright colours - men, we expect to see you with your Hawaiian party shirts on!
If you haven't had the opportunity, and would like to donate in memory of Angela and Nigel, we are collecting funds for the Kanata-Stittsville Refugee Group or for the St Paul's GIFT program. Envelopes will be available at the ceremony, or you can send a cheque to St Paul's Church, 20 Young Rd, Kanata ON K2L 1W1. Please indicate which program your funds are sponsoring. A tax receipt can be mailed for amounts greater than $10, be sure to include your particulars to receive one.
Miriam, Howard, Rosanne and our families
PS: Please spread the word of this celebration to all who knew and loved our folks!