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On this episode of Stolen Goodbyes, Karen speaks to Carole Caudwell whose mother, Irene, survived four strokes only to lose her life to COVID-19, aged 82. Carole speaks about the extraordinary relationship Irene had with the stars of Liverpool in her day as well as the struggle she went through with COVID and the feelings of grief, guilt and anger left behind.

0:00 – Intro
0:40 – Carole explains what her mother’s most lovable quality was
1:26 – Carole shares some special memories from when her mother lived with her for nine months
3:04 – Carole describes what Irene was like as a person and a mother
5:15 – Carole tells us how her mother fell ill
8:26 – Carole felt she could be on borrowed time after surviving strokes in her 80s. At the time her mother had said: I’ve got too much to live for, I’m going nowhere
9:07 – Carole got a call from carers in March to say her mother needs to go to the hospital
9:48 – She was tested twice for COVID-19 and both were negative, but she was placed on a COVID hospital ward
10:39 – Irene was moved from a COVID ward, only to be moved back shortly after. Hospital staff said: we’ve got nowhere else to put her
11:21 – On her 3rd test, it came back positive. Carole says: Im just angry they put someone Covid free on a Covid ward
12:48 – The hospital said she need to go into end of life care
14:00 – Irene wanted to be resuscitated
14:43 – The doctor allowed Carole to come in and visit her mother but he couldn’t guarantee her safety. Carole decided against it
16:14 – Irene died the following day
16:23 – Carole is left with a feeling of guilt
17:05 – Hospital staff left Irene dead in the ward for three hours as there was no room in the mortuary
19:34 – Carole begins to describe what the funeral was like and struggles with the reality: I feel robbed not just of her but of everything that goes with a death
20:43 – Carole had counselling but she was told “we don’t know what to do with you”
23:03 – Guilt keeps Carole awake at night
23:44 – Carole wishes people understood that this is real
24:52 – Carole had a call to clear her mother’s flat which was tough for her
26:05 – But she did find an enchanting love letter from her father to her mother
28:22 – Carole wants the government to be stricter with lockdown rules

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