Why Couldn't I Have Done More

Stacey Pringle

July 3rd, 1995 is a day that will be etched in my mind for as long as I live. It was the day my Dad died almost right in front of me.

I went to the flea market with my father on that Sunday. We always went on Sunday. On the way he was complaining of chest pains. My father had a low tolerance for pain so I just told him that he probably pulled a muscle or something and not to worry.

At the flea market my Dad started sweating and shaking. I kept asking him if he was okay and he kept saying yes. Everyone, including me kept telling him to sit down. He refused. Finally one of his friends decided to take him to the hospital. I called my mother right away and told her it was heatstroke or something and that he was probably going to be fine. The hospital called right after I got off the phone and told my mother it was a massive heart attack.

The rest of that day is a blurr. The only thing I remember is going back to the hospital at 1:00 am on July 3rd and being told my dad was gone.

I now know CPR and can recognize the signs of a heart attack. I just can't help but think if I knew CPR before this incident I could have saved my father. I realize however, that maybe even if I did know I might put it out of my mind because, let's face it, we never think our parents are going to die, especially so young.

Stacey Pringle

You can send email to Stacey at: [email protected]
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anniversary date 07-03-95
date of post 04-20-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW