Brighton Holiday by Natasha James


Digital Story Transcript

It was March, we were off to Brighton to have a train driving experience on the Bluebell Railway. It had been planned as a birthday treat for Gav’s dad, I’d organised the whole trip. We stayed in the old ship on the seafront.

At Bluebell Railway, Gavin and his dad were like schoolboys playing with their trains. They looked the part in their greasy overalls. Gav always wanted to drive a train with his dad, as he’d been a fireman with British Rail, firing big engines such as the Castle. I was happy to be a passenger, and leave it to the boys.

It was a great day, Gav’s ambition had been fulfilled and his dad got to drive a train one more time. We went back to the hotel, then out to Brighton town to finish off the day with an Italian meal. After a pint in the hotel, we went to bed. “Nos da, thanks for a great time.”

In bed with Gav, the phone rings. It’s dad, “he said it’s happening again!” Gav jumps up.

“What’s up?”

“Dad’s not well, he thinks he’s having a heart attack!”

“Oh my god, what can I do?”

Gav and I run to dad’s room, he’s grey. Gav rings reception for an ambulance, “I’m helpless!” Gav holds onto his dad, thank god the ambulance arrives quickly. The paramedics get dad into the ambulance as fast as they can, Gav goes too.

“Meet us at the hospital”, Gav says as they close the door. I run around in a frenzy, my heart is racing. I’m not dealing with this very well. Where is the hospital? I’ve had a drink! Have I had too much? Should I drive? I ring my own parents in tears, they help me to get back in control.

Feeling a little calmer, all I wanted to do was get to the hospital. So car keys in hand, I ask for directions and drive to the hospital. In A&E, Gav confirms that his dad has had a heart attack. Dad is so apologetic, he keeps saying “sorry”. “Go home” he says, “get some sleep.” There is no way we are leaving, not until he’s safely in a ward anyhow.

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