Let him see or know her, feel her when you touch her, feel her love, feel pain – Gloria* doesn’t know any of this when she visits her husband in the nursing home. No matter how close she is to him, she is still far away. His open eyes stare into space, not a word coming out of his lips. The pressure of his hand remains unrequited. Gloria has been waiting in vain for months for a physical reaction from her loved one. Daniel* cannot move, he is fed artificially, but he can breathe on his own. For months, the family had hoped and prayed for Daniel’s condition to improve, but unfortunately it didn’t work. “In doctors’ opinion, it will remain a lifelong nursing case,” Gloria says tearfully.
He can hardly talk about that day that changed his life. Her husband happily left the house to go to work. It was very popular there. “His ear was open to everyone,” says Gloria, who still can’t believe she hasn’t spoken to her husband since that day, and that he’s never hugged her again. Because that day, she had an accident, the causes of which have not been clarified until now.
Through many surgeries, doctors were able to put her body back together, but the dire results remained. Daniel’s saliva has to be sucked out through a tracheostomy in his neck hourly, even at night.
Gloria visits her husband as often as possible during the week. “The bad thing is, I don’t know if he hears me, if he feels me, if he’s not tangible for me,” she describes her despair. “It’s torture to watch.” Daniel never wanted to be a nursing case. She read a lot, was very technically savvy, loved to help around the house and did a lot herself, says Gloria, pointing to her favorite table where Daniel now has to sit alone.
The family moved a few years ago, and after spending time rescuing and raising children, the couple finally wanted more time to travel and have fun. “We got on well, we were a team.” Gloria’s handkerchief was already wet. When you look at the photos of the smiling couple, you want to cry. “Why U.S?” Gloria keeps asking herself. “We didn’t hurt anyone.”
In addition to the emotional pain, there are now huge financial concerns. Daniel had earned well, now he is already receiving an occupational disability pension with huge discounts. Gloria only gets 20 percent of it, the rest goes to the care facility as a care allowance. Fortunately, he has a job, but his salary is not very good.
This is far from enough to cover all the daily expenses, repairs, the car that needs to go to work, and the outstanding loan. It will now require 3,000 euros, much more than last year, for heating material alone. “Daniel has always donated to people in need,” Gloria says. She never thought she could be a part of it one day. “But we have to live. Giving up is not an option either.”
* Name and personal data have been changed by the editors.