Daughter misses saying final goodbyes to mom – because she couldn’t find parking
A loving daughter has spoken out about her heartbreak, after she missed saying goodbye to her mother because she battled to find parking.
On May 29 hospital staff informed Lauraine Griffiths (56) that her mom, Phyl, was "very distressed and struggling".
She decided to rush from her home 8km away in Kent, England, to be by Phyl's side.
But the car park at Tunbridge Wells Hospital was full during the lunch hour and it took Lauraine 15 to 20 minutes just to find parking.
When she eventually made it to the ward, nurses told her that her mom had passed away after suffering a heart attack.
"How I felt when they told me is beyond words," Lauraine told Metro.
"I can't begin to describe it. I'd been driving round and round, feeling sick with my heart in my mouth."
She told Kent Live that in hindsight she wished she'd simply abandoned her car and rushed to her mother's bedside, whom she described as a "beautiful" person.
"I'd been with my mom for eight years and been by her side and I couldn't get to her."
Lauraine has criticised the hospital about its limited visitors parking.
Kent Live previously reported the car park has 447 visitors bays and 818 staff bays – but 2 000 staff are based at the hospital.
"It's shameful how they can build a state-of-art hospital where you can't park. Everyone can see there isn't enough parking," Lauraine said.
"It's wrong. It's an amazing hospital and they just didn't think it through."
Phyl, who'd been ill for a long time, was well-known in her community.
A spokesperson told Kent Live the hospital regretted Lauraine couldn't be with her mother "at a very sad and difficult time".
"While no words can adequately address their loss, our heartfelt and deepest sympathies are extended to the family and we very much wish the circumstances could have been different.
"We have been working with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, through their pre-application process, to look at extending one of our existing car parks.
"The council has considered our pre-application acceptable and we now need to undertake a number of assessments of the potential site. It's too soon to say how many spaces this may provide."