A very sad occasion for us at Hamilton Hall
LAST WEEK - I talked about a customer ( 58 years old ) who was an alcoholic and how difficult it was for us all here coping, helping, cleaning up behind and picking him up off the floor - and how our calm week had been a crazed week filled with stress and shouting and him carrying on and then sobering up and promising me - hand shake and all - 3 times in the end NOT to drink and he and I would have long talks - gentle indoor voice - and he was figuratively SCREAMING FOR HELP in his actions and abusive manner - absolutely SCREAMING FOR HELP and yet he was his own worst enemy and within minutes of me leaving him and going to bed, unbeknown to us, he was ordering bottles of Jack Daniels 'on line' to be delivered to the door ( appalling ) and we found him drunker than drunk every morning or ,more like, late afternoon before he rose from bed.
On the day he was suppose to leave for home he was gone with the fairies. Sitting on the couch in the Lounge talking away merrily to himself - conscious but you could not get a decent conversation out of him, so we left him there -telly on - and just kept an eye on him. We assumed he would not be leaving and as we were quiet, we had the room - the bedroom he had trashed - so we left his stuff where it was, tidied the room and cleaned up the poo on the bedding etc. and generally made the room liveable again.
With no other guests in, it was not a bother allowing him to stay longer although this was becoming increasingly harder and harder on all of us here - emotionally and physically - and I sincerely hoped we could do some good, get through to him ease his pain, something but walk away as everyone else in his life had done - and there is no regret there as dealing with an alcoholic family member DOES make you eventually pull away and want nothing more to do with someone as it is a constant uphill battle - and where promises are made but not kept within minutes.
Thursday we left him on the couch in the Lounge and later in the evening we went to help him to bed but he was asleep and snoring on the floor of the lounge and we decided to leave him there with cushions under his head. Checking he was safe - and checked on him every half hour or so. He had also peed himself and we thought it better to pee the carpet which can be cleaned, instead of putting him to bed and having to buy a new mattress.
Woody and I were watching the camp film ' Funny Girl' - with Barbra Streisand as he had never seen a Streisand film before - and around 9 pm Gary came running up stairs after checking on our guest saying he thought he was dead, and we rushed down and there he was, dead on the floor.
In a state of shock and ' is this really happening ' - Woody dialed 999 and they said to start CPR - which he did - until the paramedics arrived - 2 ambulances, Critical Care - Police - the lot and all within minutes as well - ( Police in case it was suspicious ) and after a long time of working on him - they managed to get a weak pulse and took him to Intensive Care in Bournemouth Hospital, where he is as I write.
The work the paramedics and Critical Care people offered was phenomenal and we watched from afar in horrified awe - horrified at what we were watching for real and in awe at the professional aptitude of all those attending.
So as I write, he is alive BUT - working out the times, he had to have been without oxygen for at least 30 minutes - so make your own mind up about how he will survive, or not, and what is best for him.
I take my hat off to Woody - TOTAL RESPECT - who called 999 and performed CPR as instructed over the phone for about 10 minutes until the ambulance arrived and - in all honesty - saved his life by getting his heart going again.
This is not your average day at work and is not the average thing most people get to do - at work - and I totally appreciate what Gary and Woody went through and the trauma and stress involved and I have total appreciation for them both, especially Woody, who was marvelous and we all kept calm, and - although some would find this strange, we found humour even in the middle of the life and death experience which was unfolding right in front of us, which is how many people cope under pressure like this, it is NOT disrespectful, it is a coping mechanism and one that helps see people through a trauma.
After about 45 minutes with 8 Paramedics and police in and out, he was transported to the hospital and after being asked the same questions over and over by different police - which proved that one hand doesn't talk to the other and is no wonder so much crime goes unsolved, they simply do not liaise between departments even if standing within 5 feet of each other and dealing with the same case and we were left standing going ' WTF JUST HAPPENEFD ?'
At no time did we think to get our phones out and film what was going on as we are not youtube hungry fucking morons. Respect and value for all concerned.
After, Woody , Gary and I went upstairs with cups of tea ( should have been a Brandy but his nibs has drunk it all...) and talked and repeated the same story over and over as we were all in a state of - mild shock - and we were all up till late and all had bad nights sleeping - as it is not every day this happens and we are all slightly traumatised and so very - deeply - sad for the man, as he was lost, he was screaming for help, family and friends had turned away and it was left to strangers - Woody, Gary and myself, to be there for him at the end of his - - - - and we are so deeply saddened today as we have been cleaning the carpets and sorting his stuff and tidying his room and storing his possessions, and found yet more empty Jack Daniels bottles hidden in his room.
The room was trashed.
Pictures broken off the walls, ornaments damaged - poo on the bedding and all in all, a very sad story and a story that probably has but one ending.
He told me he was raised by an alcoholic Mother who died when she was just 48 - and any child brought up in those surroundings, often will be a drinker.
How many abused children become the abusive adult ?
So he didn't really stand much of a chance. Parents do not realize the damage they do to children, innocently, but damage is caused,
He tragically was very sorry about the bad relationship he had with his daughter and his brother and many pull away - many have 'had enough' and want no more, and then when something like this happens, they will have life long regrets - and always wonder if they could have done more, but the truth is , it is what it is. His daughters last words on the phone to her Father was to ' fuck off' as he was drunk and she had had enough. She now, sadly, has to live with that.
The trauma felt by us in Hamilton Hall has affected us all. It creates a vibe within Hamilton Hall like a sick persons room has a vibe of ill health, and we immediately smudged the house to clear the tragic energies at work and had to spend time together after - laughing and sharing and trying not to talk over and over again about what had just happened, as it plays in your mind, could we have done more, should we have recognised the signals, etc. and the truth is, we went further than most people, as we did not turn away we kept trying and to be honest, Hamilton Hall was his last resort and the place he chose to be - and to - .
We pray for him - one way or the other - to find peace and if nothing else, he will always be remembered above and beyond.
ALCOHOL KILLS MORE MORE PEOPLE
THAN ALL THE ILLEGAL DRUGS PUT TOGETHER.
Reading your blog this morning I was sad to hear about the gentleman and the experience that you and others were left to deal with. You truly are one of the good guys. Robert.
Sorry to hear about the trauma, as an end of life carer i realise how difficult these circumstances can end ! well done to all concerned, sometimes u cant do right for wrong 😑
Your tragedy this week John. He chose correctly to be at Hamilton Hall. So sad for him and for you guys and well done to Woody. You sing his praises wisely. J.
John. I cannot even imagine what I would do under the circumstances you guys found yourself in. I do not have the tolerance you have. I salute you all. M.
Oh, my what a shock for you all, having to deal with the destruction of your room and depositing such lovely items, not exactly what a hotelier should be dealing with.
I fully understand how you will be feeling. I might have mentioned before I worked in the Community as a type of specialised nurse, so the amount of times i had to rescue a person and finding dead bodies rather too often i and my colleagues survived on black humour it got us through the day ( especially the day we could not find a patients head!!!!)
So, i do hope you are feeling better, its good you are all together and talk about it rather than bottling it in.
please look after yourselves. Lots of love and regards to you all. Martin
Dear John, Gary and Woody
It was so upsetting to read your blog. I can just about imagine how difficult it was to deal with the tragic situation you were faced with. We have had some experience of living with someone who abuses alcohol, and it is utterly destructive for the victim and for those attempting to help them. When it seems that you are getting nowhere in trying to understand and help them, you become tormented by the thoughts that you should be doing more, and then guilty at rejecting them. All I can say is that you all did everything you could to help and showed compassion and tolerance. I hope that if the poor man recovers he finally gets the long term help he needs, although with mental health services in the NHS so under resourced the chances are he will be left to suffer.
Take care Love
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