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Please help me help my brother and his DS

(7 Posts)
Moosy Sat 16-Jul-11 17:30:34

On saturday morning last week my brother's wife [...I was going to write about what has happened to her but want to give too much detail in case I out myself or DB...]. They decided to remove all treatment early on monday morning and although she is still breathing on her own she is receiving no fluids so will probably pass away in the next couple of days.

Although it wasn't expected, it was a known condition which could be fatal, but quite unlikely to be (3% per year to cause damage, but not necessarily life limiting).

They live 2 hours away from me so I can't go there often as I have 3 small children to look after so can't just disappear all the time. I want to know what I can do to help him from here apart from just being an ear and long-distance shoulder. They have a DS who will be 2 next month and although DB's boss is very understanding (he's also a friend) DB is understandably worried about how he'll cope with all the responsibilty and doing the job of both parents by himself.

I want to be able to help in a practical way but have absolutely no idea what to do. He has a history of depression so I am worried about that too although he will hopefully spot the symptoms and get help if it happens again.

Is there anything I can do?

seeitoldyou Sat 16-Jul-11 23:04:05

I recommend home-start which offers family support to families of under 5s facing difficulties. Their volunteer will offer your DB and his DS local, practical help and emotional support for as long as they need it. Their volunteers are fully trained to support people going through very tough times. Home start are closely linked with social services too if you feel your DB might not cope (understandably so). I am very sorry to hear that your family is going through such a difficult time. sad

Onlyjoking Sun 17-Jul-11 15:04:56

So sorry to hear about your SIL it must be so difficult for you all.
I think the best thing you can offer from a distance is time, lots of talking etc.
Do they have someone local who can help with childcare?
I'm guessing as it's something unusual she has so there may not be support groups the way their are for lots of things.
We were lucky, in that we were well supported throughout DHs cancer which included lots of support after he died too.
I can understand him thinking he won't be able to cope, and there will likely be times when he can't cope, for that hour or that day. Just help him too get throu the minutes which soon add up to hours.
Great to hear his boss is being good.
For future reference I belong to a group called WAY widowed and young. They do lots of trips holidays and monthly meals, not to mention the forum which has a busy chatroom, there are many male members and even more females. Feel free to send me a private message if you want more info or if you think I can help at all.

Moosy Mon 18-Jul-11 12:27:50

Thanks for the replies, and now you're going to think I was making the whole thing up (what with all the trolls around these days), but on saturday she opened an eye and moved a hand - after 6 days with no food or water and having been told she'd never recover, she woke up! She's now back on a drip and feeding tube and getting stronger and keeping her eye open for longer at a time - proper miracle stuff!

Thanks for the kind words though and if things take a turn for the worse again I will definitely follow your advice.

begonyabampot Fri 22-Jul-11 01:14:45

hope things are gong well. No idea of the long term prognosis - but glad at least for the time being that things are looking better. Good luck to you all!

Moosy Fri 22-Jul-11 18:30:15

She's getting better very very slowly. She's got a bit of movement back and is getting stronger by the day. We don't know how badly brain damaged she is and won't know for a long time yet, but it's all positive at the moment, we're all still in shock that she's even alive!

thisisyesterday Fri 22-Jul-11 18:33:15

oh wow!!! that's pretty incredible. she must be a very strong woman

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