Richard, our lovely husband and father died on 19 February.
We miss him so much!
Richard was admitted to A&E at St Mary's hospital on 23 January after being in bed at home for a week with what we thought was "flu". In A&E the consultant informed us that his blood results were most unusual adding that "Richard is a very sick man, there is more to this than the current infections". The tragedy was that by the end of that day he suffered multiple organ failure and nearly died. His brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and liver had all failed. We were devastated. He was put into an induced coma and then onto full life support in intensive care.
With the superb care of the amazing ICU team, along with countless blood and platelet transfusions, all the wonders of modern medicine and the many prayers and thoughts of family and friends, Richard valiantly fought off the infections. He "came round" about a week later and learnt how to breath again. He was completely lucid and we had some extra precious time together.
However, even having been transferred to Hammersmith hospital to be under the care of expert haematologists, it seems that his bone marrow could just not recover quickly enough. Tragically on 17 February he sustained a massive brain haemorrhage and died on 19 February .
We have subsequently learnt that the results of a bone marrow biopsy suggest that it is extremely likely that Richard had an underlying bone marrow malignancy, a form of “myelodysplasia” (MDS) or acute leukaemia. This would most likely have been present for some weeks, have led to the very severe bone marrow failure that was evident on day one in the hospital, and predisposed him to the severe infection that he sustained and was unable to combat (flu and pneumococcus).
The symptoms of “myelodysplasia” (MDS) or acute leukaemia are weight loss, pale complexion and lack of energy. I wish that he and I had taken more heed! We want to raise greater awareness of this condition. The diagnosis requires a bone biopsy and the ICR, along with many others, are working on cures.
Richard so admired the work of the ICR. He enjoyed attending their events and meeting the talented medics and scientists that are working on cures for cancer. He relished hearing about the successes they were having in tackling the complexities of cancer. That is why we want to support them and help raise money for their crucial work.
There are three things we ask you to do in memory of Richard:
- Tell people about the symptoms of MDS and leukemia
- Give blood - it saves lives
- Donate to the ICR to support their life saving work.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Richard was the most supportive and caring husband and wonderful father. His haven was at home with the family. We wish he was here!
Thank you to everyone who joined us at Richard's Memorial Service, celebrating his life on 21 April. We were overwhelmed by the kindness and support we received from so many friends and family on that day. We continue to be at the centre of a great big bubble of love.
Frances, Zoe, Max, Joanna and Phoebe