A son has told of his family’s pain at his dad’s shock death that meant he never got to meet his new-born grandchild.

Martin Gibson had been sat watching television with his wife Janet at their Canwick home near Lincoln when his partner heard what she believed to be snoring.

But she then noticed her partner of 33 years was foaming at the mouth and desperately tried to wake him up.

Janet screamed for her son, Phillip, 31, to come downstairs and help, but he couldn’t find a pulse so started chest compressions while Janet rang for an ambulance. Meanwhile, the couple’s other children Catherine, 28, who lives in Birchwood, and Chris, 33, who lives in Scotland, got a call to say that there dad had collapsed.

Catherine rushed straight over, but for Chris, who was six hours away, he waited helplessly as the others battled to save their dad.

He said: “It was absolute carnage because I live and work in Scotland so it was very much like what can I do? What is going on? Is it that he has fallen and fainted or is it something more serious?


“My little brother said on the phone quite quickly that dad had collapsed, that he had no pulse and he was doing chest compressions.

“It gives you that sinking feeling in your stomach that this is really serious. I need to be there to help six hour drive to get there.

“There was very little I could do from where I am.”

Martin Gibson adored his family
Martin Gibson adored his family 

After some confusion in tracking down the address, paramedics arrived, but despite their best efforts, Martin, who was 60-years-old, slipped away.

Fifty minutes after the first call, a stranded Chris received the devastating news from his little brother, to say their dad had died.

He said: “Initially, it was that shock and registering the moment of what I had been told. I was stood in the kitchen at the time and my wife could see my phone had rung.

“She could see it in my face straightaway. When the phone rang I knew what it was.

“I collapsed onto the kitchen floor in a flood tears. I told the wife what she already knew about the phone call I had been given.

“I think that is where I spent the next ten or 15 minutes.

“It was that massive feeling of almost being kicked in the guts and not knowing what to do or what to say to anybody.”

Martin Gibson was in the RAF for 32 years
Martin Gibson was in the RAF for 32 years 

Martin, who was a former RAF policeman for 32 years, had multiple postings around the country and overseas including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo.

He left the force in November 2010 as a sergeant.

And while scores of tributes have come in from Martin's friends in the forces, Chris says he will always remember his dad as a man who would do anything for his family.

He said: “I will always remember him as a big grouchy person but that was because he was my dad. He was a very lively and bubbly person with an outgoing personality.

“He loved real ale and taking photographs of anything and everything that moved, birds in the garden or steam trains that came through the Lincoln railway.

“He would do absolutely anything for us kids. He was the one person if I had any questions or needed anything I would go to. “

Martin Gibson
Martin Gibson 

To add to the tragic nature of the death, Martin, who also has grandchildren, never got to meet the newest addition to the family.

Chris said: “My younger brother has a five-year-old and Bella who was born at the end of the March, who he never got to meet because of coronavirus and the restrictions.

“Obviously, Bella and her mum Emily weren’t allowed to travel so he passed away without meeting one of his grandchildren, who only lived in Gainsborough.”

He added: “It does hurt [that he never got to meet Bella].

“His work who I spoke to and told they said how much of a proud granddad he was and every time he would go to into the office he would be showing them photos of my one and my little sister’s one.

“He thoroughly enjoyed being a granddad and being able to show off his grandkids.”