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23 July 2024
Alan Morris with his mum Jean

In 2014, I took a two-city break in Spain, staying in Madrid for a few days before travelling to Barcelona for a few days. My mum had been ill for a while, and I was taking a week's respite from being her carer.

Mums Ghostly Appeal.

Whilst in Barcelona, I fell very ill and was taken to hospital, where I ended up spending quite a bit of time and undergoing some life-saving operations.

After I had initially been taken to hospital after falling ill in Montserrat, I was kept in whilst they investigated what was wrong with me. My leg was very swollen, a strange red-black colour and was very painful. The doctor in charge of my care had disagreed originally about what was wrong with me with the younger doctors.

On about the 2nd or third day in the hospital, the 3 younger doctors visited me. One stood outside the room and ensured no one else came in. The other two came into the room and explained that they thought I may have an infection they wanted to check. There was by now a small hole in the broken, swollen skin on my right leg, and whilst the female doctor held my hand, the young male doctor took a sample of the puss from the wound with what looked like an earbud. They told me they would send it to the laboratory to be tested. This is what the older doctor had not thought necessary and that they had argued about.

Whilst in hospital my telephone had lost its charge and none of my family back in England could contact me and I could not contact them. One night, one of the nurses looking after me took my phone home with her at the end of her shift, found a charger for it, charged it up, and brought the charger and the phone back to me the following morning. When I turned my phone on, it started buzzing, and I found many missed calls and messages from my sister. I opened the first message from her, which asked me where I was as she hadn't been able to get hold of me. She then apologised for telling me by text message and again explained that because they didn't know where I was or what I was doing, she had no choice in how she told me. My mum had died in hospital the previous day. I was heartbroken but then had to message my poor sister to tell her that I was in hospital in Barcelona and that I wasn't very well myself.

As I sat in my hospital bed, the doctor came to see me. He explained that he had seen the test results that had come back from the laboratory. He explained that it was not good and that I must undergo surgery immediately to save my life. He told me that I had Necrotising Fasciitis and that it would take many operations to try and remove it from my leg. He explained that even if I had the operation, they couldn't say for sure that it would save my leg and that I might have to have it amputated. He wanted to operate that afternoon, but he couldn`t get me to have the operation. I told him that my mum had died in England and that I had to go home to be at her funeral. He told me I had to decide in the next hour as he had to operate that day. He told me that he couldn't force me to have the operation, but he wouldn't sign my release papers, meaning I would have to leave the hospital under my own steam. It also meant no airline would accept me on board and he left the room and said he would return for my decision.

Once he had left, I had a message from my friend Darren in England, who had heard that I was in the hospital. I told him that the Doctor would not let me out of the hospital and that it meant I couldn't fly and wouldn't be able to go to my mum's funeral. He told me that he would drive from England to Barcelona in Spain, push me out of the hospital in a wheelchair and drive me back to England so I could go to the funeral. I just had to let him know what I wanted to do.

When the doctor returned, I told him I would not have the operation and was organising transport to drive back to England. He once again told me how serious my condition was but admitted he could not stop me if I tried to leave, and he left the room. I fell asleep in my bed, and when I woke about 30 minutes later, I saw the ghostly figure of my mum at the end of the bed. I didn't realise it at the time, but looking back at the time now I remember she didn't look in pain anymore. She did, however, look very sad, and she pleaded with me to have the operation that the doctor wanted me to have. I spoke to her telling her I didn't want it and wanted to go home to see her. It seemed like we spoke for a long time, but it couldn't have been for long, and she made me promise her I would have the operation and go on living.

As her spirit disappeared, I decided to see if the doctor could still do the operation. A very short time later, the doctor came back to the room and asked me for a final time if he could arrange the operation that would save my life. I think he was surprised when I told him I would have it, when probably no longer than an hour before, I had told him I would not and was plotting ways to get home. He immediately called for the three other doctors who had taken the original tests and got me to sign off on the operation. I asked them when the operation would be, and they told me that day. I asked them when, and they said now and began to wheel me to the operating theatre.

My mum's spirit speaking to me made me have the operation which saved my life that day. Even after she had passed away, she was still looking after her little boy. I still, to this day, find myself talking to my mum and feeling her watching over me. It is very comforting, and she has managed to keep me going in dark periods of my life since then, notably when I was back in England and a hospital again.

I will see my mum and dad again at some time, but not for a long time yet, I hope.