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Reminding myself who my beloved father is during Dementia Action Week

To mark Dementia Action Week, Herald content editor Gill Sutherland shares her experiences after her dad Tom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in January.

We nearly lost my dad Tom a number of times over the years. Prostate cancer, a quintuple heart bypass at 78, osteoarthritis of the spine which threatened to at least leave him in a wheelchair in his late 60s, and most recently kidney cancer – although slow acting.

On Christmas Day last year he had a massive pulmonary embolism that probably should have finished him off, but instead, after a nightmarish fortnight in hospital which saw him become increasingly delirious, he came home with the most dread diagnosis of all… At 85 it was decided he had Alzheimer’s. Something my mum, his constant companion for 65 years, had hinted at for a few years.

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