'I wish I could do more' - Husband visits love of his life every day to apply her make up after stroke

Joan and Danny McEvoy.

'Tell them you love them every day,' is the heart-breaking advice given by a Co Louth husband who now tenderly applies his wife's make-up for her after she suffered a stroke over a year ago.

Danny McEvoy (78) now spends most of his day at a nursing home, helping to care for his wife Joan (78) who can no longer talk or eat and is paralysed after surviving a stroke in December 2017

The devoted husband who is married 58 years applies her make-up and lipstick every day and arranges hairdressers for Joan, who always likes to look her best.

"My life was over that day," he said.

"We survived the loss of my brother who died at sea and the loss of our 19-year-old son Damien who died of a heart attack in England. We got through it all together but I never dreamed that we would end our days like this.

She suffered a severe stroke and we were told she wouldn't survive. Our two children Tony and Denise were summoned from England but she pulled through thankfully.

"She was so outgoing and hugely involved in the community. Now she can't talk, walk, eat or drink and is paralysed on her right side. She can move one hand slightly.

"She needs 24-hour care and has been getting fantastic treatment at Sunhill Nursing Home in Termonfeckin, where she has to be turned every two hours.

"I arrive every morning and after she is showered by staff, I give her a big wave, hug and kiss and put on her make-up and lipstick.

"But if I'm not doing it right, she'll grab my finger and I have to get the mirror to let her see it. She was always the boss and is still the boss," he laughed.

"If I'm talking and not saying something right, the finger will go up to tell me to stop. I understand her and can communicate with her.

"The nurses use suction if she needs it and I often wipe her face down. I visit twice a day and we'll watch TV together until she falls asleep.

"I still can't wait to go and tell her every day all the news that's happening"

She got a boost three weeks ago when we became great-grandparents for the first time. She was really excited about that and loves pointing at pictures of the baby to show visitors.

The Drogheda dad-of-three admits that it's been hard for him since Joan got ill as she did everything around the house.

"I didn't even have to think. She did it all."

Danny and Joan pictured before her stroke.
Danny and Joan pictured before her stroke.

In a real-life love story, the devoted spouse urges all not to waste a chance in telling them they love them.

Tell them that you love them every day, because you never, never know.

"We had a great life together and we thought we had everything worked out for our later years. Wills, mortgages, loans all sorted but we didn't think about this.

"Joan has always been the love of my life. I just wish I could do more for her now."

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