There Goes My Hero


I lost my husband on Saturday 14th December 2019.

He called me with his alarm at around 7.45am to get up. I wandered into his room and listened to his familiar groans of agony as the pain began to take hold. I reached for his head and shoulders and sat him up. It took no effort at all. I could have lifted him with one finger. Odd, I thought, but continued through the usual routine.

As I reached for his drink, he lolled over to one side. I eased him back to centre and reached again for his drink, but he then fell to the other side. “Bloody hell babe” I said exasperated as I picked him up again, “you’re all over the place this morning!”.

I positioned his drink in his hands just so, but they fell away from the cup. I tried again, but they fell away again. “I’ll hold it for you” I said, and I sat down on the floor at his feet.

As I looked up, my stomach lurched as I realised that it wasn’t the drink he was struggling with, but the fact he was gasping for breath. He couldn’t take in any air. Oh my God he couldn’t breathe.

I lifted him to the wheelchair and gave him a shot of morphine as I remembered the nurse once telling me that would open his airways in an emergency. I wheeled him through to the lounge and transferred him to his armchair as quickly as I could manage. As he sat down, I noticed he was looking at his inhaler with desperation in his eyes. I pressed the cartridge at his lips, but his gasps were too shallow to take it in. I ran for his breathing machines, but the jumble of wires sent me into panic.

“Shall I call the nurse for your emergency meds?” I asked, to which he nodded his head. That was when I know the situation was really bad, as he would normally insist on me not calling anyone.

I phoned the nurse on call. She took all the details, but I knew it was too late. As I put the phone down Paul’s eyes rolled upwards and he fell gently to the side. Exhausted.

All I could do was hold his head to my chest as he made his final attempts to catch a breath. By this time, it was about 8.10am, only 25 minutes since he woke. Five seconds of stillness and he tried again. Ten seconds of stillness and he tried once more. He didn’t try a third time. He was gone. Free at last from his agony but leaving his family heartbroken. I can’t bring myself to describe to you how the boys reacted, but I will tell you it’s a sound I never want to hear again for as long as I live.

Paul’s funeral will be held at Pontefract Crematorium next Friday 27th December at 9am. It will last about 40 minutes and then we will have a drink in his memory at Hemsworth Miners Welfare FC, Fitzwilliam, where he was Captain for many years. We will celebrate his life and remember the man he used to be before this cruel disease took hold of him.

He currently rests at Normington & Sons, Havercroft should anyone wish to say their goodbyes. He looks at peace, dressed in his Leeds United shirt with a funny sideways smile on his face.

Thank you everyone for you love and support throughout nearly 3 years of hell. You gave him the strength to continue on, for which we will be forever grateful.

I have never known and will never know anyone as strong as my husband. How he endured what he did for so long is testament to the man he was. An absolute legend. One of a kind.

See ya babe. Hope you’re having a party up there. Love you always.

Vikki x


Paul Russell Banton

28.08.76 – 14.12.19


13 thoughts on “There Goes My Hero

  1. You were there caring for him right to the end and I’m sure for that Paul will be eternally grateful. He was so strong to cope with this awful disease but you were equally if not stronger in caring for him and the children whilst also running a house and working. You are remarkable. I am so sorry for your loss. Stay strong ☹️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the man was and always will be a legend as you are with all you have done for him i realise how hard it must have been for you as Dawn has done pretty much the same for me , bathing feeding n dressing me after i was impaired by a brain aneursym in 2010 then a double stroke in 2016 which left me paralysed for 4 month n disabled down my left hand side you n paul are a beacon of hope n a great example of love n humanity may you find peace yourself and all the sincere best luck to you n your boys all our deepest love Dawn n Kev

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  3. Wow, I never met you, but i went through high school with Paul, as with most people you have friends at school but I want a football fan so we didnt click, but i got on ok with him, i only learned of his illness the day he lost his battle, i can say honestly and genuinely he was a very humble cheeky lad and i was genuinely upset to hear he had passed, I’m sorry to see you lost a truly amazing husband, and the lads lost their loving dad, my deepest condolences and sympathy, Terry Clarkson

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have read your blogs from when you started publishing them.
    Your honesty surrounding the highs and low with this cruel unforgiving as you describe “short circuit” has been truly inspirational.
    I was the year below Paul at school, remember him well, also his beautiful sister Liane.
    Like you my passion has been within the hair and beauty industry for many years providing services to the public in our local area, which leads me to…..
    My experience of knowing someone with this debilitating illness known as MND.
    Over the years I’ve not only seen one but several close friend suffer with MND which in my opinion is right at the top of being the most horrendous disease I have ever witnessed.
    The way you have cared for your Hero and boys while working in this very ‘at times’ demanding industry shows what a fighter you are, although I don’t know you personally the way you have described what you have been through is heart breaking.
    I hope you find peace and love over the coming years for you and your boys, please take good care of yourself Vikki you are in my thoughts.
    R.I.P Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry for your loss.
    Beautiful words about the man the dad you all love.
    R.I.P Paul you now have no pain.
    Sending hugs and love to you all yours Andy. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry for your loss i went through school with Paul and haven’t seen him since leaving school but I’ve never forgotten him as he was one of the nicest politest young lads i know and i don’t think anyone would have a bad word to say about him my deepest sympathy gos out to you and your boys and Pauls family 💔😢x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know you but I didn’t want to read and not comment. So sorry for your loss, you sound like an amazing woman who will support your children through this. ♥️ Lots of love xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have never met Paul but just looking at his picture and the honest look in his eyes I can tell what an incredible, warm, giving human being he must have been. No one should endure what you have been through these last 3 years but often there is no explanation as to why certain things happen to us in life, things that do not seem fair or right. You are an amazing person and a strong spirit and I know you will find strength to go on for yourself and the boys. My deepest condolences. Sending you loads of love and positive energy. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hope you don’t mind me commenting I have just read all your blogs in one go and wow…..I knew Paul as a young boy but knew both his sister’s and my parents and his parents Jack and Sheila were very big friends I have asked about Paul over these horrendous few years and I’m so so sorry this has happened to him bless you and the boys they have a very special mummy xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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