Many thanks to those who left comments of support for both me and Dave. They are very much appreciated, and mean a lot.
Yesterday, after work, I went across to the Wirral to see Dave. I met up with another old friend, Hilary, and we both went to the hospital together. When we arrived, Angela, Dave's wife, was in the hospital cafe. She told us that we probably would not be able to see Dave as the doctors wanted to take him off the ventilator and had therefore removed all sedation. This meant that Dave was extremely restless and they needed him to calm down naturally and that visits could stop this.
This gave me an opportunity to give some support to Angela, and attempt to re-assure her that things will be OK. She told us of the night when she was woken by strange noises, and was immediately aware that something was seriously wrong. She called the ambulence which arrived within 4 minutes, and the paramedics got him onto oxygen in a short space of time. A 10 minute run to the hospital and he was into the emergancy department. Apparantly, the staff struggled for over an hour to stabilise him enough to attempt to get him to Intensive Care, but at all times, a nurse kept Angela and Heather informed of progress. At one point, they asked Angela to go into the room as they felt they were losing Dave, and 7 times, when they attempted to move him to Intensive Care, he arrested. That night, he was given hours to live.
However, he got through, - heavily sedated and on a ventilator, but he got through! Dave is a pretty fit guy. He does long-distance treks over the Himylaya and Andies for charity, and he is a stubborn bugger (a bit like me!). I believe it is that fitness and stubborness that has got him through this far.
Saturday night, I got to see him for about 10 minutes, but the doctors didn't want him to be disturbed, and so I kept quiet. I couldn't even touch him. However, he was breathing on his own, his body was maintaining his blood-pressure and he was being given oxygen and steam to help with the breathing.
Today, I was able spend a lot more time with him. I held his hand and spoke to him. Told him a couple of jokes, - we both have a pretty bizzare sense of humour! and told him that everything was going to be OK. At times, he tried to open his eyes, and occasionally would role a bit in the bed and growl, but on a couple of occasions, he did squeeze my hand. He may be 'out' of it, - but not totally. The doctors reckon it could be another 3 to 4 days before he comes round, but each day that goes by, the chances of recovery improve. At present, things are looking positive, and everyone around him is keeping a positive attitude. Angela is getting incredible support which will enable her to help Dave properly.
For me, it is very distressing to see my mate lying so helpless, and knowing that all I have to offer is me, somehow doesn't seem enough. I will be going across again next weekend, and hopefully I can spend a bit more time with him and tell him all the things he needs to know; not least, how much I love the guy and what he means to me.
He may not be out of the woods, but he seems to have found a path that may lead him out; or as my youngest daughter, Jayne, said; "He's not out of the blue grass, but he's looking for the path". Couldn't put it any better myself.