The morning of 8th December was just like any other Sunday; Stephen woke up to get ready for football while I stopped in bed.
Stephen said goodbye and gave me a kiss and said “see you later”. He went outside and changed the cars around so he could drive his to football, then he came back inside and shouted “bye” one last time.
I just wish now he had gotten me up to move my own car like he always did. Then I would have seen him one last time.
I got up and got ready as I was going out with my mum and sister to the Christmas markets. At 11:10 I got a phone call from one of the football lads telling me that Stephen had collapsed and I needed to get to the hospital.
I asked how serious it was and he said he didn’t know, I just had to get there. Knowing Stephen I just thought he would be sat there with a bump on his head asking what all the fuss was about, so I didn’t rush. I carried on getting ready and I phoned my mum saying I wouldn’t be coming.
It wasn’t until I got into the car that I felt a wave of panic come over me and I couldn’t explain why. So I rang Stephen’s mum and dad and raced down the motorway. I even had to ring my friend for directions because my mind had gone blank.
When I got there, Stephen still hadn’t arrived and all I felt was panic. When his mum arrived she said that the air ambulance was outside and they were working on someone. My heart sank, I just knew it was him – I remembered that on the phone I had heard the air ambulance in the background.
A nurse took us through to a room and told us it wasn’t looking good, I remember falling to the floor in shock. My entire world was falling apart. When I walked into the resus room there were doctors everywhere, people doing CPR and there were wires and machines bleeping. I just knew he had gone when I saw him. I held his hand and it was cold and heavy. My heart was completely broken. It was only ten weeks ago we had gotten married and were on our way to America for our honeymoon.
All I could think was why him? He never did anything wrong and would do anything for anyone. He played football and was first team cricket captain, he was loved by everyone.
The next few weeks were a complete blur, sorting out the funeral and trying to adjust to a life without him; and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support network around me.
Not a day goes by when I don’t think about him. He has left a hole in so many people’s lives; he was so well thought of; he had 7 nieces and nephews and was a godfather to 8.
Life has undoubtedly changed without him here; but his positive, fun-loving and laid back attitude to life is something I am now trying to emulate everyday.