'I heard my wife die on the phone': British man listened helplessly as his wife died thousands of km away

By Kirstin Buick
23 February 2015

A British man endured the agonising final moments of his wife's life -- as he listened helplessly on the phone from over 11 000 km away on an Indonesian oil rig.

Darron Smith (35) discovered his wife Anna (37) had to be rushed to hospital in Scotland on Saturday while he was working on contract on the rig just of Batam Island, The Daily Record reports.

Doctors at Gilbert Bain Hospital on the Shetland Islands discovered Anna was suffering from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, and prepared to transfer her to the Scottish mainland for specialist care. But 24 hours later, things took a turn for the worse. Anna had a ruptured valve in her heart, after suffering two massive cardiac arrests.

'I heard my mum, Carolyn, say, ‘Is she gone?’'

Knowing the mother of his daughter may not survive, Darron stayed on the phone to his mother-in-law Carolyn as doctors tried in vain to save Anna's life.

“I heard my mum, Carolyn, say, ‘Is she gone?’ and the medical team confirming it," he said.

Five flights and two days later, Darron was back home with his four-year-old daughter Ava.

"Ava is coping much better than me at times, but children that age have a remarkable way of speaking up and stating what's happened," he told Mail Online. "We will cope with losing Anna in the way Ava finds best."

Darron doesn't regret hearing his wife's final moments at the end of a receiver.

“It was distressing, but comforting to be there, albeit thousands of miles away at the end of the phone.”

“I take comfort in being with Anna in her last moments - even if it was thousands of miles away at the end of the phone."

Darron and his family have now set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation in Anna's name.

Sources: Daily Record, The Mirror, Mail Online

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