ON WEDNESDAY afternoon Ian Grant held his wife's hand while lying next to her in a hospital bed and they knew death circled both of them.
Ian, the Daily's long-serving sailing columnist, had a massive stroke on Saturday - the "worst doctors have seen" - and is in a critical condition at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane.
The veteran journalist, 76, is in ward 43. In ward five, Marie, his wife of 53 years this June, is on kidney dialysis due to renal failure and does not have long to live.
Ian's eldest son Mark, who likens the situation to being "on the bus from Hell and there's no exit doors", said: "Yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon when we got some news that Mum's condition was deteriorating very, very quickly, we arranged for Dad to be wheeled down to Mum's ward.
"Here we are in Mum's room, with Mum and Dad side by side in bed holding hands trying to converse.
"That's what love's all about."
The Grant family may have to decide today whether to take Marie off dialysis.
At the same time they are dealing with the "day to day" proposition that is a father, grandfather and great grandfather's existence.
Two-thirds of Ian's brain is bleeding, the left of his body is paralysed, and he has pneumonia.
Mark said his father had shown some improvement, but he appeared to regress yesterday morning.
He said tomorrow was a particularly critical day for the father of three as it was expected his body would start discharging dead brain cells.
"Dad, as they say, is still critical, no ifs or buts about that," Mark said.
"My father's not just my father, he's also my hero in life."
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