While they’re partying, I’ve been cheated on with my dying partner in recent days, writes SUE REID

My most precious asset is the birthday wish my partner Nigel gave me when he was dying. I keep him close to my bed and kiss him every morning.

Nigel gave me a card with a message inside the afternoon of May 20, 2020: the glorious spring day.

It was a sunny evening at a garden party on Downing Street, where guests without masks mingled at 6pm to share bottles of “bring your own” wine.

The tables were no doubt preparing for the illegal party when Nigel and I met in the lobby of a private hospital in North London, where he was being treated.

Sue Reid, pictured with her partner Nigel at home in West London.  As he lay dying in a hospital in North London, there was a party in Garden No. 10

Sue Reid, pictured with her partner Nigel at home in West London. As he lay dying in a hospital in North London, there was a party in Garden No. 10

Covid’s rules were draconian: we were both camouflaged down to the hilt, and I even put on old big purple sunglasses to avoid catching the virus with my eyes or passing it on to Nigel.

Now the memory of that terribly sad day seems even crueler.

How annoyed I was when I thought of myself that Nigel – who played tennis with Boris Johnson and considered himself a prime minister – was considered a fool by the government.

Every painful memory of my birthday visit came back to me with new agony as more details emerged about how those who ruled the country during the pandemic and imposed its poor rules on the rest of us were ready to despise them themselves.

What would I do to spend my last birthday with Nigel in a spacious London garden, drinking a glass of great wine and laughing without worries – as I always felt.

A special permit was granted for my birthday visit because Nigel personally convinced the hospital’s top manager.

How annoyed I was to think of myself and Nigel - who played tennis with Boris Johnson and considered himself a Prime Minister fan - the government considered fools

How annoyed I was to think of myself and Nigel – who played tennis with Boris Johnson and considered himself a Prime Minister fan – the government considered fools

His case was an emergency: intravenous antibiotics were pumped into his 6 foot4in body to fight sepsis. He was thought to have contracted a chemoport during four months of exhausting medical treatment.

I was so excited to see him – but he was obviously a weakened soul.

I brought a little picnic to make it a chance, but the always polite Nigel tried to touch him. He had lost weight: his pants were falling, his face was sunken, his skin so pale. When I looked into his brown eyes, I was horrified by his aggravation.

But I didn’t want to scare him by saying it out loud.

At one stage, my gaze wandered over Nigel’s head as he sat deserted in a chair in the hall. A delivery man came out of the road and waited with the package in front of the elevator a few feet from us. He didn’t have a mask – and I was so angry that I took a picture of him on my phone. I also took a picture of an unmasked hospital patient leaving the same elevator and going out to smoke a cigarette. There was neither a look nor a rebuke from the hospital reception.

Clearly, some were already subject to pandemic rules at this hospital, others were not – just as downing Street was polished the same day and the guest list was compiled.

Like thousands of others who follow the rules – often at great personal expense – I feel as if the hypocrites who are pursuing the corridors of power are laughing at me. I realize that Nigel and I have been cheated on our time together in his last days.

We desperately wanted to see each other, we wrote to each other 18 times a day when he was imprisoned in a hospital where visitors were not allowed.

Until then, Nigel said his nurses had told him that the hospital was overwhelmed by patients with Covid and other patients who had been transferred there by the National Health Service, which failed to cope.

Nigel was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in January 2020. Soon after starting chemotherapy, he collapsed and became delirium. According to oncologists, it was caused by a ‘mysterious infection’.

His last visit to the hospital was two weeks before my birthday, when private doctors rang our house to say that tests had shown that he had a mysterious infection again and had to go inside immediately.

I drove him in a black taxi to the hospital door.

I hurried away after being told that he would be isolated in one room due to a pandemic (although he had never tested positive for Covid at any stage). I wouldn’t be allowed to see him or anyone in his family.

I couldn’t talk to the doctors face to face. As a result, I couldn’t stand by his bed and fight his horn like a

a loving partner should. He was completely alone. Then came my heartbreaking birthday. I searched our news and emails just before.

“Come early,” said Nigel, who admitted he had trouble typing on his cell phone because he felt so bad.

I said I had a phone under my pillow and that I would run it at night or during the day – if he let me. On my birthday, May 20, I was sitting in the lobby of a private hospital waiting for him. Nigel got down in the elevator, his nurse helping him before he collapsed in his chair and handed me a birthday card ‘SD’, his nickname for me, which meant ‘Sue Darling’.

“Darling SD,” he wrote. “How could I not mention today how you changed my life when you let me into your heart? In return for the future, you will take my love with you wherever you go. I adore you, Nigel. ”As I read the words directly in front of him, I realized that he knew his end was near.

A natural rebel, I broke hospital rules by slipping quickly behind his chair to hold him in my arms for a second or two: to whisper in his ear that I adore him too, and to feel the warmth on his face.

And just as I did so, just a few miles away, the hilarious evening party, attended by the men and women that Nigel and I were so afraid of touching, began when he was so close to death. Seven days later, Nigel was sent home.

He died on our couch after 36 hours without another word from the hospital. We got there before when my birthday wish was on the mantelpiece with Nigel’s beautiful lasting message for me.

And these precious moments are something suspects from violators of rule number 10 can never take from us, no matter how despicable their own behavior may be.

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