My partner Stephen Whinnett was a big, strong, 46-year-old man; a scaffolder since leaving school.
He'd been at work on the Thursday, but said he felt tired and had developed a sore throat. He picked me up from work at 10pm that night and we both went to bed as normal. At 3.40am I found him asleep on the settee downstairs and decided to leave him as he was sleeping peacefully, and the alarm was due to go off at 6am for work.
At 6am when the alarm went off I went downstairs to find Steve on the floor shaking and he'd vomited. He was conscious but not responding to me, so I called my daughter to stay with him whilst I rang an ambulance.
We lay with him and wrapped him up - he was so cold. The ambulance came and paramedics suspected a bleed on the brain. When he was admitted to hospital they scanned him for a bleed on the brain and signs of a stroke, before deciding it could be meningitis.
The doctors put him into an induced coma and took him to intensive care. It was approximately 11am when Steve stopped responding to the medical staff, so they scanned him again and it was discovered he had catastrophic brain damage.
Over the next day they did several tests, but I knew he was gone. We turned his life support machine off on the Saturday. I have lost my world. He was the most gentle, loving and caring man. We have all been left devastated and in shock. I'm absolutely broken-hearted. We had so many things planned, so many things still left to do and it's been taken from us within hours.