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Having a Lung Transplant

By John Beverton 

My GP changed my life by recognising early that I was not well and referred me to my consultant at UCLH. I can clearly recall being told I had pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and what it was. It wasn’t a heart stopping moment as I had no clear idea of what it meant for me as a person, so I went home and looked it up in Wikipedia. That was a shock as it said I was likely to die in two years (not everything in Wikipedia is true). I was still working at that time in a health care setting and some of my colleagues found this news difficult as they had first hand experience of working with the disease; fortunately, they did not share this with me. My employers were good and let me travel by taxi and allow extra time to make journeys. I took early retirement rather than restructure again and the experience of leaving a job and people that had been a major part of my life was an added wrench. 

What do you do then? 

To start with, my illness consumed much of my time: hospitals, doctors and clinics. I was referred to the pulmonary rehab group which was lovely and I stayed on longer than perhaps I should have done (Thank you Giselle). Exercise helped keep me as fit as I could be and I started to try and walk through as many of London’s parks as I could which was a really positive experience introducing me to areas of London I had never seen, including the magic of finding a disused Victorian tennis court in Crescent Wood, Sydenham. Having a travel pass really helped with this. 

I arranged to see a psychologist attached to the pulmonary medicine service, something that I found to be very useful as it gave me time apart to look at the areas of concern in my life at that time: 6 sessions to talk about my reduced future expectations and where I was with this. That was enough to enable me to think through the issues. 

I joined a pulmonary exercise class and found the mutual support of the people there to be as beneficial as the exercise. I would recommend these classes. It gets you out; you meet people and do gentle exercise. I did do a high impact class and apart from developing a limp could not recommend it. 

Saying goodbye or not 

Having just left work, this was something that was on my mind. If you have a disease like IPF, it is tempting to look on the darker side of what is possible. For me, this would have been a huge error and I would have missed some valuable experiences.  If you tell friends goodbye, it is a huge emotional wrench for them as well as you. You will then find yourself wilfully surviving, having told people you were off. I found it was best to avoid this by finding opportunity to tell people how much I enjoyed being with them. It is surprising how little we do this and how good the effect is. Don’t say “it’s been great” say instead “it is great”. 

For family it is different. I have a very supportive family and it was important for them and me to discuss the reality of IPF and having done this not to go back over the ground, but to maintain, as far as possible, a positive frame of mind. I felt I had a responsibility to my family to do this. That does not mean in the small hours of the night I was immune to fear but, by looking for positives, for example losing two stone and being able to breathe more easily, helped me and those around me to have good times. 

To my surprise, I learned to live with a reduced life expectancy, it became part of me and my experience and lost, for me, the power to frighten. It became just one facet of how I experienced life. There is, on the part of some, a feeling that you should become depressed.  I did not really find this to be the case except when having to talk about my prognosis to medical staff, in particular when you need to discuss how you are slowly losing function.  I felt it was reasonable to show some emotion and Doctors and Nurses were very supportive and more than willing to listen. I was very lucky to have found a great GP who would see me outside of clinic hours so I ran less risk of infection and a super consultant who offered me considerable support. Even UCLH did their bit by constantly moving the location of the clinic so I got plenty of exercise trying to find it. 

One question that did arise for me was the question of legacy. What, if anything, do you leave behind if it all goes badly. I was lucky in that I could point to housing for disabled people and more importantly to services that were better than when I started. I could also look at my family and find comfort and solace there. All in all, it was pretty solid and I am grateful for that. 

Transplants  

There is no known cause for IPF except that it may be linked to gastric reflux, there is also no real answer apart from a lung transplant at present. To get referred for a transplant was a major stepping stone, as was adopting a better lifestyle, losing weight and getting fitter. 

One of the surprising problems was getting too much choice in making decisions. Do you want to join any research programmes?  Yes of course I did. Do you want lungs that have been cleaned up if needed; well OK. The reality is I was completely dependent on the medical team to guide my choices. It comes down to trust.  I have never chosen a set of lungs before, wouldn’t know a good set if I could see them, the transplant team have, so I said, “Please let me know when you find a set”. 

The transplant interview is a fairly fearsome process designed, I think, to discourage those who are not sure this is what they want to do. I was sure and keen to go ahead although some of the information is scary. Survival for 10 years is the 50:50 point, I hope I will be content if I achieve this. 

Having been accepted onto the programme, you learn to wait. This gives time consider what will happen if the transplant does not happen, after all you are waiting for a donor and these are rare. Carrying a donor card myself, I would encourage everyone to do this as you never know when you might be in the position to save another life. 

My call came in the middle of the night just when I had come to terms with the reality that it might not come at all. Be prepared, have a will done, a bag packed, say something positive to those around you. For me, consciousness began to return after 6 weeks of intensive care, gruelling and scary for those around you and not easy to endure as you may not be as unconscious as others think. The dreams that come are not always pleasant. This however is the exception not the rule, others were in and out before I came round! 

After the transplant 

For me, making the choice that these lungs were now mine was a critical one, don’t over think it. My muscles had wasted from all the time spent lying around and exercise was important to regain mobility and get some control back into my life. A further 6 weeks in hospital at Papworth passed before I could go home but, once I was home, my improvements continued and I am doing well, they say. I have new lungs and take medicines four times a day, dutifully recorded in a big blue book. To be honest, it is all a bonus and, while I have yet to recover fully, I want to make the most of the new time I have.

IPF makes you very aware of being mortal; transplantation reveals the gift of life and the simple miracle that it can be done at all.

 

Richard Sainsbury: The Story Behind the Charity Single, Happier Times

By Sasquatch Bob

I didn’t know my girlfriend’s father, Richard Sainsbury, that long really, just a little over three years in fact. I knew him long enough to be deeply impressed and inspired by him though. He was a truly remarkable man, and watching him deal with his coming fate in his final months is something I’ll never forget. 

The first time I met him, he was in his favourite arm chair, shirt sleeves rolled up to show his old sailor tattoos, hair slicked back in the teddy boy style, watching TV with one of his grandchildren on his knee. In the time I knew him, I hardly ever saw him without one of his family sat on his knee, cuddled up to him or playing at his feet. His family, and granchildren in particular, were by far the most important thing in his life. He adored them, and in return they adored him too. Barely a day passed without one of them visiting Grandad Richard. 

I can’t remember exactly when I heard or found out that Richard was dying of IPF, but I can clearly remember the devastating impact the news had on everyone around him, including my girlfriend, Mandy.  

Richard wasn’t Mandy’s natural father, but he’d raise her since she was a toddler and as far as he was concerned she was his daughter. In turn she, like the rest of the family, worshipped him. She was shattered by the news and it was a very tough time for her.

The one person who seems unaffected by the news that he had less than a year to live and he’d deteriorate and suffer horribly towards the end was Richard himself. We saw a lot of him during his illness, most days in fact, as Mandy tried to spend as much time with him as she could before it was too late. During that time, I never once saw him look sad or unhappy and I never heard him complain. Not once. He remained the same loving, family man he’d been before he got ill. If anything, he became even more determined to be there for his family.

In his last weeks, the deterioration was fast. Even when he eventually became bed bound, he would still have his youngest grandson, Logan, cuddled up to him whenever I saw him.

Unsurprisingly, Richard’s eventual passing was a hammer blow to the whole family. The funeral was one of the most intense, emotional and upsetting things I’ve ever witnessed. Actually, one of the things that struck me at the time was how much more impact his passing had on those around him than the death of my own father several years earlier. It was a testament to just how important he was in the lives of the people who knew him!

During Richard’s illness, his family all reacted differently, and handled it in different ways. One of the things some people did, especially Mandy’s younger half-sister and Richard’s daughter Dionne, was to throw themselves into fundraising and awareness for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. She did so many fundraising events I lost track of them all.

I was moved so profoundly by what I’d seen I desperately wanted to do something to contribute, but had no idea what to do. Dionne had most of the obvious sponsored events covered. So, as music’s about the only thing I’m any good at, I decided to do a charity single.

I’m an experienced musician with many years, but I’d never attempted anything like this. It was quite a daunting task, but nothing compared to dealing with IPF, so I got on with it without complaining. 

Just as a quick side note, I’ve thought this way many times since then. Sometimes, when something’s been tough, I’ve stopped myself and thought of how incredibly Richard coped with something infinitely harder, then pulled myself together and got on with it.

How the single came to be is a story all of its own (which can be found at www.sasquatchbob.com by the way), But the attitude and generosity of the people who helped me out was truly amazing and humbling.

The last 12 months or so has been hugely challenging and emotional, but the whole experience, and mainly Richard himself, has really opened my eyes. The way Richard’s family pulled together and became closer than any family group I’ve ever know, the way people gave so much of themselves to help me with my single, the way Richard devoted himself to his family, and finally the way he dealt with what he went through towards the end, all showed me things about what’s actually important in life and how amazing, and surprising people can be.

I can feel the tears well up as I type this so I’ll end now with this final thought: Richard’s passing left a hole in so many people’s lives which will, and can never be filled. I’m a better man for knowing him, and I try hard daily to be better because of him. So many things about him are an inspiration to me and how I live my life now. If I can become half the man, and half as loved as Richard Sainsbury I’ll think myself a very lucky man indeed.

RIP Richard, gone but never, ever forgotten.

 

 

A Tribute to Clara Saunders

By Denise James

Our story starts February 1994.

Our wonderful father, Robert Burns, 57 years, was a gentle man who just adored his family. We are a close family; my mum Roberta, 3 sisters Clara, Mary, Roberta, me and 9 grand children at that stage.

Dad was always a hard working man and was never ill. It was unheard of for him to be off work sick, until he got a recurring chest infection which was treated with antibiotics after anitbiotics. His GP  sent him for a chest x-ray and, on the results of the x-ray, was referred to hospital to see a specialist consultant.  In February 1994, dad was diagnosed with Idopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

We met with the consultant who told us very little about dad’s condition apart from the fact that there is no cure. We did the research and found that dad’s only hope was a lung transplant. After a few meetings with dad’s consultant, he gave the go ahead for dad to be assessed for transplant. We had hope!! After a few weeks, dad’s oxygen levels became unstable, resulting in dad needing more and more oxygen. Sadly, 20th September 1994 will always be a day we remember… dad lost his fight to this cruel disease with his family at his bedside.

That was 18 years ago and we thought we had saw the last of Idopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis …

Clara Saunders is our elder sister; the pinnacle of the family after losing our mum to lung cancer 4 years after my father’s passing. Not just a big sister and best friend, but a mother figure all rounded into one.

Clara, a wife and mother to 3 grown up children. For years, there was no granchildren, then over the last 2 years, they all came along like the No 6A bus; 2 grandsons, a grandaughter and her daughter expecting their second end of June 2013.

Clara loved her job and within her work always took part in charity events raising thousands for different charities as part of a team. Events such as dragon boat racing, zip wire across the River Lagan, rowing a boat across the lough, and a ladies driving day for Marie Curie to name but a few.

At Christmas 2012, we noticed Clara was a little short of breath. She was never one to complain and, after much nagging from her family, she gave in and went along to see her GP.

In February 2013, she was admitted into hosptial after she collapsed at work. After loads of tests and almost 2 weeks in hospital, she gathered my sisters together and told us that she had Idopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. We were shocked and distraught. Clara told us that she had been assessed whilst she was in hosptial for a double lung transplant and her consultant had put her foward to be assessed at Freemans Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne. Over the following weeks, she was taken by air ambulance to Freemans. Clara was determined to beat this evil disease that had claimed our father. Freemans also saw the fight in her but advised her that she had a small window!! Within 4 weeks, she was on the “Active List” and bags packed ready to go. She was deteriorating rapidly and, on Saturday morning 25th May 2013, was taken into hospital.  Her SATS (oxygen levels) had dropped dangerously low. They stablized her with a new machine from ICU.  She was great for a few days – the best I’d saw her in months. We thought once they had her oxygen levels at a manageable level she could go home, there was even talk that they would fly her to Freemans Hospital so she could wait for new lungs there. 

Sadly, Clara lost her fight on 2nd June 2013.

On 17th June 2013, Clara’s youngest daughter gave birth 3 weeks early  to a baby girl – Clara Amy Saunders … a fitting tribute.

We have since found out that another sister has Idopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Sarcoidosis. 

How many more of our family and others is this disease going to claim?

Our family and friends plan to fundraise for Breathing Matters which carries out research into these diseases and other lung related illnesses by doing a 10K walk, a skydive and a blowdrying day in our salon:   If you would like to support us, please visit our Justgiving donation pages:

http://www.justgiving.com/clarasaunders29

http://www.justgiving.com/PhilsSkydive2013

10K Walk

10K Walk

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Great British Food Festivals 2013

Over the last month, The Great British Food Festival at Shugborough Hall, Macclesfield and Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire have attracted over 70 producers showcasing the best in local, seasonal and speciality food and drink. There was a wide selection of local hot and cold food, live music and lots of food based entertainment.  Festival goers also saw a variety of free cooking demonstrations, from top chefs such as David Mooney and Simon Rimmer, as well as talented local producers.

Breathing Matters was this year’s nominated charity and people were invited to attend taste challenges such as ‘Men Vs Food’, and to show off their own baking skills in the ‘Cake-Off’ to raise funds. Other attractions include free artisan talks, Junior Chef’s Academy, live music, fantastic children’s entertainment and rides and of course the wide range of amazing food stalls.

There are a few more dates to round off this year’s festivals – perhaps you could pop along:

  • August – Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th and Monday 26th @ Stonyhurst College
  • September – Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd @ Arley Hall, Warrington

Breathing Matters would like to thank the organisers of The Great British Food Festivals for their support this year –  we are truly honoured to be the nominated charity for such a fantastic event.

 

A Tribute to Nesta Wade

My mum was a hard working loveable and caring person and nothing deterred her right up to the last admission into hospital.

In August 2012, mum was diagnosed with breast cancer quickly followed by a left mastectomy soon after.  She started her 6 cycle chemotherapy treatment in september which would be followed by herceptin.  As soon as mums first cycle of FEC started, mum experienced breathing difficulties and was admitted into hospital and treated for infections, this was ongoing after every cycle of chemo. After 2 cycles of FEC, her oncologists changed her treatment to Docetaxel as it was believed it was affecting her heart function and where her breathing difficulties lied. During this time, mum was being checked out by the cardiologists having echos, X-rays, CT scans and a lot of antibiotics for infections in her lungs.

Eventually, mum was referred to a lung specialist in October 2012 where, in December 2012, after lung function tests and a biopsy, she was diagnosed with early institual lung disease, believed to be caused by chemotherapy.

Four weeks after her lung biopsy in February where she was sent home with no oxygen, 80% sats and low blood gasses, mum was rushed into hospital and put on life support. She fought for 4 1/2 weeks overcoming all the hurdles that was put in front of her!

Unfortunately, mums lungs never recovered and she passed away on 2nd April 2013. We were told that her fibrosis had progressed aggressively whilst she was on life support and she had died of multiple organ failure, severe septic shock, chest sepsis and progressive interstitial lung disease.

This disease is by far the most misunderstood and unforgiving and needs all the funds possible. I still do not understand how something so devastating has no help or cure.

My mum was a diamond and would help anyone and everyone. It kills me that nothing could help her.

Tribute written by Toni Pym, youngest daughter of Nesta Wade

Grandmother, great grand mother, sister, mother, cousin, niece, aunt and everybody’s friend xxx

A Second Chance at 48

By David Kenningham
 
I think I have always been lucky. The harder I worked the luckier I got, always in the right place at the right time. However, nothing in my past compared to this. 
 
It was just an ordinary day, not unlike the thousands that had preceded it. I was busy, I was always busy and would have it no other way. I wasn’t stressed any more than usual as I made my way along Grosvenor Street to meet some Middle Eastern clients to pitch for work on their newly acquired Central London property. I thought I had the job anyway and this was a formality, but still my colleague and I were taking no chances. I rang my colleague to say I was on my way, I had all the documents and would be there in 10 minutes. I never made it.
 
I woke up two days later, I think – it’s still a little hazy.I was in the Heart Hospital, having had a cardiac arrest as I walked down the street.
 
As I decided to fall over unconscious as my heart stopped, 2 paramedics sitting in their truck on the other side of the road witnessed my collapse. These unnamed saviours reached me, I guess pretty quickly, and understood instantly what was happening. From the state of my suit and the shirt I was wearing at the time, they took no prisoners, not that I’m complaining! I keep the suit and shirt as a reminder, a warning about a previous life.
 
I’ve been asked since what did I see, was there a great light, did I have an out of body experience? I’m not sure how I missed the opportunity to tell a few tall tales, but the fact is I remember nothing. My memory of that day and the previous day together with my first few days in hospital is pretty much a blank.
 
A few volts of electricity later, my heart was at least beating enough to get me to the hospital. I understand the paramedics had just finished another call out and were either having a well earned cup of coffee or waiting to be told where to go next. Either way, I wouldn’t be here now if they weren’t there – a debt I can never repay.
 
I like to think I’ve looked after myself. I love the gym – a place to escape the stresses of the day and dream of past glories. I made it once or twice a week always struggling to find the time but somehow managing to. I was in reasonably good shape, you can always be better, enjoyed a drink – now much more sensibly than my youth and according to my friends was not somebody likely to have a cardiac arrest.
 
The reality is I think I had the easy part of my illness. My wife had assumed I was stuck on the underground when the office rang to nervously ask if she had heard from me. It wasn’t until she arrived home from the school run and found a police car waiting for our outside the house that she began to to worry. Somehow she kept it together, with a son of 11 who had just started a new school and a daughter of eight she had to.
 
It is in situations like this where friends come into their own. The support that she received from our close friends was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Everybody in London is always so busy. All our friends were busy, but somehow they found the time to help in ways both big and small. Interrupting well honed routines to take our children up from the school or from the coach to provide tea for them, to drive my wife to and from hospital, to sit with her and support her – the list is endless. It helped my wife maintain a degree of normality with the children until such time as she knew my prognosis and ultimately that I was going to make a full recovery.
 
What was I doing during this time? It’s hard to say, as I said earlier it all a little hazy, but apparently the hospital got my heart to stabilise, I was chilled down in ice – something I wasn’t desperately pleased about from my body’s reactions according to those who witnessed it  and I was monitored to within an inch of my life!
 
When I woke, I genuinely had no idea why I was in hospital. On the surface I felt fine. I muttered to my very relieved wife that it was only a bit of indigestion and tried to get out of bed. An act painfully restricted  by the wires attached to me and the catheter!
 
After this, my next thought was to get my blackberry – how on earth were work surviving without me? The fact that my brain was so scrambled I couldn’t remember my fairly simple password should have told me that I perhaps was not 100%, but my desire to resume ”normality” was too great. A game of cat and mouse ensued with me asking each new nurse who came into my room for my blackberry and then trying to extract the password from colleagues or remember it myself. It took a fairly stern text message from the head of HR for me to stop – he somehow knew that I would be checking my messages!
 
It was only then that I started to accept that possibly I had been ill!
 
After testing, having a defibrilator fitted (my new toy), and celebrating my 49th birthday from my hospital bed, I left hospital 2 weeks later with instructions to take it easy and a bag of pills to make sure I did! 
 
My diagnosis of cardiac sarcoidosis was unusual but not unknown. Those first six weeks at home were probably, in hindsight, the hardest. Struggling to come to terms with being ill, struggling to get my body to respond as I wanted it to. Each day, I was sent to bed in the afternoon for a “rest”, each day I was determined not to sleep only to be woken some 2-3 hours later. I took to emailing my consultants at the Heart Hospital with lots of questions. Judging by the replies, this was not normal practice!! 
 
Slowly but surely I accepted the situation, started to trust others and listened to what I was being told even if I didn’t like what I heard. My six week check up went well and I was allowed to resume gentle exercise. It was little things that I noticed.  I registered the look of delight/surprise/pleasure, I’m not sure which, on the face of my consultant (Dr Pantazis) as I bounced down the steps to see him.  He had obviously seen me at my worst and was relishing my recovery. Although my request to play a final game of rugby where I promised to avoid taking any “big hits” on my left side where my defibrillator was inserted, must have made him wonder what sort of idiot he had helped save!
 
I returned to work slowly in mid January, chased from the office by my PA at lunchtime.
 
I returned to UCLH  on a regular basis. It almost felt like home. I became a big fan of all things NHS as the various departments linked to help put me back together. Not that unusual I suspect for anybody in my situation, but all the same impressive and help that was gratefully received.
 
Telling people that you had a cardiac arrest in the middle of the West End gets an assortment of reactions depending on who you tell. Non-medical people hear cardiac arrest and think heart attack.  Medical people just tended to look at me strangely.
 
For me, the healing process took a giant leap forward on one of my early visits to see Dr Jo Porter. I arrived at the clinic early, I think I was first in and it was quite quiet. I got talking to one of the nurses – I wish I could remember her name – and she asked me the usual, what happened to me why I was here etc. She expressed her amazement and I had the opportunity of asking her what was so unusual. The reply was that out of hospital cardiac arrests have a poor survival rate. I was listening and I remembered and carried around this information for some time. I have no doubt I was told before, but this was the time that I remembered.  I’m not sure what it was, but her reaction really stuck with me.
 
A few days or weeks later, I googled “ cardiac arrest survival rates”.  While survival rates are increasing, it does not make good reading.
 
I think I’ve always been lucky.
 
What have I learnt from all this. There is lots of stuff that I should have known, but probably didn’t appreciate or think about.
 
-my care at the Heart Hospital/UCLH where I recovered, was tested, prodded and probed was fantastic.  I doubt it could be bettered. The nurses, doctors, consultants were my life savers; friendly, cheerful and helpful. At times, I was amazed at how rude and ungrateful some patients were. I think they thought it was an hotel! The staff had patience I know that I would never have!
 
– I always felt I made time for my family, but the reality was that my the work/life balance was not as balanced as I thought! My family are my life, but somehow work had won that battle without me realising it! 
 
-friends are irreplaceable. In moments of crisis, you understand and learn the real definition of friendship.  They continued the good work started by the hospital.
 
I write this while on “gardening leave”, having resigned from my job in October after 24 years. I am starting my own practice to enable me to control my work life balance. I will still be working hard, as I love what I do. I will still be as committed as ever for my clients, but will be working on my terms and with the support and understanding of my family.
 
It is a new beginning. I see it as a second life. A life that was restarted on the pavement of a Mayfair street on 27 September 2011.
 
Life 1 – 48 years 11 months.
 
Life 2 – 17 months and counting!!!
 
 
 

A Tribute to Mark Hulme

By Sheila Hulme, Mark’s wife:

Mark, my husband, died from Pulmonary Fibrosis last year, sadly I had not heard of this dreadful disease until Mark was diagnosed with it 7 years ago. Within weeks of diagnosis, he became increasingly ill and became more dependant on oxygen as his lungs ceased to function properly.  He knew it was a terminal disease, but typical of Mark he handled it with great dignity and courage.

As the years passed by, he became more breathless and limited in his mobility. He ended up being on oxygen 24 hours a day and virtually housebound.

Mark was a man with a huge zest for life and to see that gradually ebb away, day by day, was devastating for me and the family. Everyone who knew him will always remember his wonderful sense of humour and he just lived to laugh; sadly, in the end, he could not  even laugh as it just took too much out of him.

I am desperate to raise the awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis by supporting the charity Breathing Matters. This charity helps to fund  University College London which is one of the leading  research establishments trying to find a cure for Pulmonary Fibrosis.

How can you help? I have assembled a team who intend to walk the South Downs Way which is 100 miles long and will take us 6 gruelling days, believe me when I say gruelling! It is a tough one as we are busy training on the Downs in preparation for the walk on 4th May 2013.

WE NEED YOUR SPONSORSHIP TO HELP UCL TO CONTINUE THEIR RESEARCH SO OTHERS DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER AS MARK DID.

Who are the team? Myself, his elder brother PJ, his two cousins Jeremy and Crispen, his brother-in-law Harvey and his good friend Matt.

The walk itself will start in Winchester and will be over 6 consecutive legs ending in Eastbourne. We would welcome anyone that wants to join us on any of the legs. I will let you know at a later date where we will be starting each day and where we will be staying.

Please, please help if you can – http://www.justgiving.com/PeterHulme

Thank you.

A Tribute to Molly Brear

Tribute by her daughter, Louise Lowrie

My mum Molly was born in Leeds and moved to Doncaster as a small child. She met my dad, Laurence, at work. He was “the love of her life” and they were happily married for 45 years. Family meant a lot to my mum, as an only child herself, she used to dream of having brothers and sisters; therefore, when my brother was born, she made sure that 2 and a 1/2 years later he had a sibling (me).

My mum’s favourite role was being a grandma, she had 3 grandchildren who she loved deeply.

My mum had several challenges in her life, the first one being bowel cancer which she beat with fearless determination.A few years later, she nursed my dad through a difficult illness which we believed to be pulmonary fibrosis at the time but shortly after he died we found out was  pulmonary amyloidosis. Mum struggled with the loss of my dad, but got through this time with her faith in God and the support of her friends at church.

Mum’s biggest challenge came in October 2012. She had noticed slight breathlessness when going upstairs for a few months then she became acutely unwell with what we thought was a flu-like illness.  Three weeks later, we got the news we didn’t want to hear – she had pulmonary fibrosis. My mum stayed strong and decided to make the most of the time she had left. She had unbelievable support from her friends and neighbours and we planned to have a fun family Christmas  as we didn’t know if it would be her last. Sadly, it wasn’t  meant to be, as mum deteriorated rapidly and spent Christmas in hospital where she died on December 27th 2012. She had only been unwell for 10 weeks. My mum stayed strong right until the end and was adamant she wasn’t going to “spoil” Christmas for the grandchildren.

We miss her so much. Pulmonary fibrosis is a cruel and devastating disease, please donate to help fund research into it.

A Tribute to David Dainty

David J Dainty 07.06.39 – 03.07.12 

By Keith Millman MBE

David Dainty was a committed general dental practitioner practising amongst likeminded colleagues who were prepared to offer ‘out of hours’ services to patients in need.

He was born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire moving with his parents to Stanford-le-Hope where he attended Palmers Boy’s School in Grays.  He pursued dental studies at the London Hospital Dental School where he qualified in 1963.  Always a keen sportsman, he played football and water polo for his dental school and proudly boasted that he was an ‘Old Londoner’.

After qualifying, he practised as an assistant for a short while in Essex.  Coming to Devonshire in 1964, he was welcomed into a Kingsbridge family practice where he quickly established himself with kindly demeanour.  David remained in this practice, eventually becoming a partner, always pursuing postgraduate studies until his retirement as senior partner in 2005.

An active member of the BDA since qualifying, he joined the Plymouth Section and became Chairman 1976-1977.  He became the second Editor of the Branch magazine Contact Point and was elected President of the Western Counties Branch in 1987.  He was also on the editing board of Dental Update.

As a young man, he joined Round Table and later the 41 Club.  On the foundation of the Kingsbridge Estuary Rotary Club, he was invited to join and worked in several offices.  During their 25th year celebrations, he was honoured to be elected as their President and awarded the accolade of a Paul Harris Fellowship for services to the Rotary Movement.  Closer to home, he was a governor of West Alvington primary school, a parish councillor and a stalwart of the Anglican Church, where he was joint treasurer.

David loved his golf and retirement gave him the opportunity to pursue this interest after a hard working life looking after his patients.  He was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis two years ago.

West Alvington Parish Church was full to overflowing for David’s funeral service.  Colleagues, former patients and friends were standing along both side aisles.  Those unable to gain access to the interior were able to participate through a pre-installed public address system outside.

He leaves his devoted wife Hilary after a happily married life of 49 years, three daughters and seven grandchildren to whom we extend our sincere sympathies.

The family are very grateful to everyone who attended David’s funeral and gave so generously enabling his family to donate £2000 to Breathing Matters, and also his former partner and close friend Keith Millman MBE for allowing us to use his very fitting tribute to a much loved husband, father, granddad and friend.

 

Tractor Run; a First for Breathing Matters

Pengegin Presentation

Pengegin Presentation

Andrea Reed, Head of a fundraising group called “The Gwaun Valley Dragons” organised a Tractor Run this summer in memory of Mr Oswald Harries of Pengegin Farm, Gwaun Valley, who sadly passed away last year of “Farmer’s Lung”.  Oswald’s family had kindly requested that the money be donated to Breathing Matters.

Almost 100 tractors turned up for the Tractor Run on an amazingly sunny day.  Oswald’s grandson started the Run in his tractor and 98 tractors followed him along the scenic Gwaun Valley in Wales.  See the below link for photos of the day.

On 8th September 2012, a cheque for £3,200 was presented by the Gwaun Valley Dragons to the Oswald family on behalf of Breathing Matters.

We would like to thank the Harries family for donating this money to Breathing Matters towards research into Farmer’s Lung.  Thank you too to the Gwaun Valley Dragons for organising such a fun event. 

Click here to see more photos from the Tractor Run

Click here for more information on Farmer’s Lung