We hoped that when Dad’s time came, it would be a slipping away through old age; he was rarely ill. As a fisherman, he had a few close calls but the sea didn’t get him. A broken neck didn’t put him off riding hismotorbikes. He wasn’t a fan of health and safety so an accidental death wouldn’t have been out of the question but that didn’t happen. We‘d never heard of PSP.
Dad was a practical man. As PSP took hold, he looked for ways to beat it. When he couldn’t ride a motorbike, he got an electric bicycle. When the physiotherapist was suggesting wheelchairs, he was designing pulley systems to get him on his feet. When he couldn’t turn the pages of a book, he learned to use an iPad. When he couldn’t use his hands, he had a hook made.
Dad put up with the indignity of relying on others to move him, to wash him, to clothe him and to feed him because he could still communicate. But when PSP took his voice, he had had enough and let go.
We miss him dreadfully but were privileged to know him for so long. Frances, Lorraine and Caroline.
PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) is a rare neurological condition affecting parts of the brain that control walking, eye movements, balance, speech and swallowing. Dementia and personality changes can also be a feature. At the moment, there is no treatment or cure although symptoms can be managed.
The PSP Association is a national charity providing support and information to people living with PSP and CBD while funding research into treatments and ultimately a cure.
I am running the Edinburgh Marathon on May 26th along with Ken and Heike (thanks guys!) to raise money for the PSP Association. Any support, be it sponsorship, raising awareness of the Association or providing jelly babies from mile 17 would be greatly appreciated.