On 25th of July, my father was admitted to hospital in Kayseri, Turkey.He was suffering from a rare disease called MSA (Multiple system atrophy, please check NHS Page).It is a progressive disease and he had lost his ability to walk, eat and breathe in the last 5 months.The reason he was admitted is because he hadn`t eaten anything in the past 3 weeks and his doctor advised him to have PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) so he could get any nutrition, fluids and/or medications directly from his stomach.
On 30th of July, her was admitted to ICU because shortness of breath. I have talked with his doctor to understand his situation. He told me that he could not breath and they had to take him to the ICU, but he was not intubated.
On 31th of August, I heard that he was intubated, the doctor assessed his situation and he told my sisters that if his heart stops; he would prefer not to take any action as he had been suffering a lot and would suffer more if he had a heart massage.I also learned that my father was asking to see me one last time as I am the youngest kid of him and the only one living abroad.
My husband did not want to leave me alone and wanted to come back with me.We knew Turkey was in the red list but there was a review in the upcoming week. Besides, it was not our concern at that moment; my only wish was to see him one last time..
We drove from Glasgow to London because the closest flight was from Stansted airport and there was no way we could catch that by train, or any other way. We left our car in the car park for 1 month, we only took cabin baggage with us and took the flight.
I visited my father in the hospital as soon as I landed to my home town and had a chance to talk to him even if his only reaction was blinking.I visited him everyday and tried to talk to him for 10 mins with only simple sentences like we are ok, he is in good hands as Ataturk said, in order not to make him tired.After 1 week, one evening; the hospital called my sister and told her that my father`s heart stopped, they had to make heart massage and brought him back to life.When we went to see him that day, he was unconscious, nurses put a plaster on his eyes and he was not even blinking any more..
For the following week, he never woke up. I again talked his doctor because i did not know what to do. I would like to stay there with him, but no one knew what is going to happen and when.
The doctor told me if you had to go then go, the he had never known; my father could have stay in the ICU for months.
Working from Turkey was not option for us. Both me and my husband are working in the UK for a healthcare software company and we had limited access to work offshore. On the other hand, if we flew to the UK, we had to stay in a quarantine hotel and if something happens in that 12 days, I could not leave the hotel and I would have gone crazy.
On the travel list review took place on 5th of August, UAE was moved to amber list. Which was easy for a Turkish citizen to get a visa and find flight easily. So we decided to fly to Dubai, so if something happens to my father; we could go back to Turkey. If not; we could spend 10 days and fly to the UK, to our home. We flew there on 16th of August.This decision was purely because the of the chance to go back to Turkey if necessary. Not because of money we were to pay for hotel quarantine.We paid almost the same money for Dubai visa, flight, hotels, food etc.
Unfortunately, my father passed away on 19th of August. We flew back to Turkey on that day and I got to attend my father`s funeral, I was there with my sisters and my mother and to condole each other.
We waited for the next travel list review and on 26th of August, Turkey was again in the red list. Despite all the articles, predictions that were published in the previous days (https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-turkey-expects-to-be-removed-from-red-list-when-travel-rules-reviewed-later-this-week-12388876).
Then we decided to come back to the UK any ways because we had to (because we had a life here, we have jobs, our car was in the middle of nowhere, our house etc. etc.).
We had to come back even if I was heart broken, feeling lost and desperate and not able to find a word to describe my misery, we had to come back, lock ourselves into a cage and stay there at least for 12 days.. We took the flights on 28th, we booked quarantine hotel..
Please note that all this period of time, we were very careful due to Covid.
– We were following government guidelines from the beginning of this pandemic.
– We have never tested positive, never had any symptoms.
– Both me and my husband were double vaccinated in the UK(Scotland) and we never gave up following restrictions even after our vaccines.
I just want my voice to be heard and my situation to be understood. I had no option but to go and see my father. I did not travel to a red list county just because I want to have some sun; i had no choice. It is not my problem that Turkey government did not provide data to GISAID or Brits holidaymakers would go to Turkey; it was my father whom I can never see, touch or talk again…