My mum had open heart surgery at the beginning of November, and hasn't ever got well. She has had breathing problems ever since the op and got very weak as she didn't feel like eating. Finally they put in a feeding tube but it gave her a bad nose bleed, meaning they had to ventilate her to put it in and then gave her a tracheostomy a day or so later. That was just over 4 weeks ago. She was doing a lot of breathing on her own until last Wednesday but has succumbed to a chest infection again as she is so weak. I travelled over and back to see her on Monday ( a 4 hr round trip) and had a long chat with one of the doctors. For the first time they were talking about what might happen if things don't go right this time. They think her respiratory system was much worse than they thought before the operation, and have started talking about quality of life, secondary problems etc, basically she was close to refusing treatment but has agreed to give it another try. Things are looking fairly bleak for her. It's so hard to see a strong and dignified woman basically trapped in a failing body. I want to see her (I'm going again tomorrow and over the weekend) but I hate seeing her like this, it's a horrible situation and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.