24 Hours in A&E viewers were left in tears after a woman told how her granddad saved her life after she turned to drugs following her dad’s tragic death.
In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, Kayleigh accompanied her granddad Eric to St George’s hospital after he started experiencing dizzy spells.
But it was their back story which really grabbed the attention of those who tuned in, as Kayleigh shared her memories of how Eric filled a gap in her life after her father died from terminal cancer when she was just 12-years-old.
‘My body wouldn’t have taken it for much longer,’ said Kayleigh, who told how she turned to drugs and alcohol to try and numb the pain. ‘I couldn’t take it if I carried on but couldn’t take it if I stopped either. If it weren’t for granddad then I’d be dead 100%.’
And the pair’s tight-knit friendship was clear for everyone to see, with one writing: ‘Eric and Kayleigh have such a special bond.’
In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, Kayleigh accompanied her granddad Eric to St George’s hospital after he started experiencing dizzy spells. Pictured, in hospital together
Kayleigh credited her granddad Eric for saving her life after her father died following a battle with terminal cancer when she was 12-years-old. Pictured, Kayleigh and her father when she was young
Taking to Twitter, one person penned: ‘Eric and Kayleigh have such a special bond’ (pictured)
A second added: ‘Oh Kayleigh I just want to give you a big hug.’
During the episode, Kayleigh took her granddad to hospital after growing concerned when he started losing responsiveness following a few bites of a sandwich.
‘He was dripping sweat, lost all his colour and he wasn’t responsive,’ she explained to the doctor. ‘His eyes were looking in different reactions and he just wasn’t reacting.’
Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing more than a spasm in his food pipe – but the pair then started opening up about their unique relationship.
‘Keyleigh’s dad, he was an amazing man’, recalled Eric. ‘It hit her hard when he passed away. Like any daughter would be when her dad dies, she was heartbroken.
‘She was only 12-years-old and the person she spent a hell of a long time doing more or less everything with had suddenly gone.’
Kayleigh went on to explain how she and her father were ‘really close’ – adding he’d always say she was ‘Daddy’s little girl.’ Pictured, in hospital with Eric
Eric (pictured) told how he is ‘proud’ of his granddaughter for how far she has come
Kayleigh went on to explain how she and her father were ‘really close’ – adding he’d always say she was ‘Daddy’s little girl.’
him being strong, happy and healthy, to just being really ill and skinny,’ she said. ‘He looked really yellow, pale. Even though we were told his cancer was terminal, I didn’t really accept it. I was in denial.’
She continued: ‘I just started using drugs to block it out really. I couldn’t get my hands on heavy drugs obviously. I was just sniffing glue and stuff to block it out.
‘I was probably on a bit of a downward spiral from there really. One thing leads to another and all that. A couple of years later I got a bit heavier, and heavier. Then by 16 I was definitely dependent on all sorts of substances and alcohol.’
Eric went on to explain how he never thought his granddaughter would come into drugs – and admitted he was ‘hurt, upset and angry.’
‘I think it blanked a lot of things out for her. She not only lost her dad, she saw him drift away,’ he explained. ‘Her mum was worried about her. She honestly thought she’d die. I said “OK, put her in a car and bring her up here.”
He continued: ‘The first time she took her coat off I thought: “Where have you gone?” She was that thin. She was so shallow, so bony. She was like a ghost. I didn’t want to lose her…I knew I had to do something.’
One person who tuned in took to the comments section and wrote: ‘Oh Kayleigh. Bless her’ (pictured)
‘I went out and got her new clothes, got her into a rehabilitation centre and an appointment with a key worker. Me and her mum had a chat and I told her: “She ain’t going home now until she’s ready to go home.” That’s all I could do.’
Kayleigh said that her granddad was a ‘massive help’ – adding that if he hadn’t sorted out all of the support she ‘wouldn’t be here now.’
And come the end of the episode, Kayleigh revealed that she had been sober for 14 month.
‘I’m proud of what she’s done,’ said Eric. ‘She had the willpower and determination and she did it. I’m very proud of her for that.’
And many were quick to take to social media, with one writing: ‘Oh Kayleigh. Bless her,’ while a second penned: ‘Having struggled with alcohol and drugs and losing my grandad in my early/mid 20s this #24hrsAE has hit a note.
Crying. Biggest hug to you Kayleigh, you are so strong!’