A young mother has paid tribute to the help and care her late father received from ambulance paramedics by raising money for TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity in his memory.

When Kelly Bardsley discovered TASC’s details following an internet search for a worthy cause she said it was as if her dad, Nigel, was “looking over my shoulder”.

Mr Bardsley, aged 53, from Banbury in Oxfordshire, passed away suddenly in May this year following a heart attack brought on by bronchial pneumonia and the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) he had been suffering from for years. During his funeral at Banbury Crematorium, the family asked for donations to TASC from friends and work colleagues and succeeded in raising £121.

Kelly, 24, who gave birth to her first child, Alyssa, just four weeks before her father died, said:

“Dad had been a smoker since he was 14 years old and, although we tried to get him to give it up, he was too addicted. He was diagnosed with COPD some time ago and also suffered with sleep apnoea, which meant his oxygen levels were low. He had an inhaler to help with his breathing but he still struggled. In fact, on his birthday the week before he died, our GP wanted to see him to change his inhaler to help him with his cough. So, as a result, the paramedics came out to the house on a fairly regular basis over a period of years and each time they were so helpful and caring, and also had a laugh with him because my dad was somewhat of a practical joker and always made light of his illness.”

Mr Bardsley, who was born in Evesham and worked as an HGV road sweeper driver, was discovered by his wife of 28 years, Sarah, when he failed to get up for work.

Kelly, also from Banbury, who worked as a sales consultant for a bathroom retailer prior to having her baby, added:

“Dad normally started work early, but he was getting up at 3am to pick up a trainee from Leighton Buzzard. He was always awake before the alarm went off, but on this occasion he wasn’t, and then my mum was unable to wake him. The night before he was absolutely fine, his normal happy, jokey self, so his death was very sudden and came as a real shock. When the last paramedics came out who, unfortunately had to deal with declaring my dad as deceased, they were very supportive to my poor mum and were quick to make sure she was okay.”

Kelly, who is an only child, added:

“My dad was a huge supporter of the NHS and, in particular, the ambulance service and paramedics. So I wanted to raise money for the men and women who made his and our lives so much easier by only requesting family flowers at his funeral. When I did my research online I came across the lovely charity that is TASC. It was almost like my dad was looking over my shoulder at the time. I could almost hear him saying ‘yes, they are perfect’. So we decided to donate money for TASC in honour of his memory. Knowing we raised £121 for this brilliant charity, and hoping we have also raised awareness of its work, eases our pain just a little.”

For more information about TASC please visit www.theasc.org.uk, call 0247 7987 922, or email: enquiries@theasc.org.uk
For regular updates, follow TASC on Twitter (@TASCharity) and Facebook (@TASC The Ambulance Staff Charity).


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