Hello everyone. It’s been some time since I wrote. And I do apologise for this.
I last wrote before October last year. Prior to that, I spent a lot of time researching Covid, vaccines and other recent scientific developments.
Over the past four months I have been radio silent for a good reason. In October last year most of my family who were incidentally involved alongside me with this project, were hospitalised with Covid. Not all of us came home.
I myself spent 75 days in hospital as best I can count myself. 56 of these were in ICU and 30 of them were unconscious in a coma. When I woke up after a month in a coma, I learned that I had lost my mother and my wife to Covid while I had been asleep.
This is the reason I have been inactive. In addition to my own emotional distress and crushing loss I have had considerable physical recovery to achieve. The coma affected many of my body systems and I experienced what my medical records list as multiple organ failure. During my time in my coma, my body shut down, my lungs filled with fluid, my kidneys and liver both failed, but thanks to the angels that staff the ICU at the Carlisle Infirmary I’m alive to tell the story. And when I say angels, I truly mean that. I’ve travelled the world to some degree at least and have been hospitalised in places such as East Africa, South Africa, and the UK. I have been hospitalised in both private and government healthcare systems in all three of those countries. I have never witnessed such empathy, love and true dedication to a calling as I did at the Carlisle NHS Infirmary intensive care unit. I really do owe them my life.
Thanks to these angels who selflessly work under trying conditions and are very often underappreciated and underpaid, my children still have a father.
Notwithstanding the above, I’m back. I am alive, and while not quite well with the aftereffects of the coma, I plan to continue what I began three years ago with Cumbria Hyperbaric. It is still my intention, as I believe Catherynn would want it this way, to continue with my efforts to bring a therapeutic facility to Cumbria.
A very big thank you to the staff at the Cockermouth Community Hospital as well. When I awoke from the coma, I could not walk, I could not talk, in fact, I could not move at all. It was like experiencing locked in syndrome. I couldn’t tell anyone where I hurt or how I felt. When I reached Cockermouth hospital after 56 days in ICU I still couldn’t walk or climb stairs. I currently am able to walk as much as 3 kilometres and manage to do a little shopping on my own. My eternal thanks to the physiotherapists along my journey who made me move even if it hurt and even if it made me physically ill. And believe me there were many days then I was physically ill and in much pain.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to my two sons who bravely stepped up and took over everything to do with bills, payments, insurance, legal matters among many other things that I couldn’t even imagine doing when I was 17 and 20. when I was 17, I could barely change a plug, yet my sons Conah and Nathan have demonstrated exceptional resourcefulness, resilience, and emotional strength. As a direct result of this I was able to simply surrender and allow my body time to recover.
My dear wife Catherynn, and mum Rosalie, will be sorely missed as I relied heavily on them to proofread and fact check much of my content. Not to mention the personal place they both held in my life. These are truly the greatest women to me. There’s a massive void and hole in my life now that can never be filled. Catherynn was also central to business in Cumbria for a long long time and loved and respected by many. She was also heavily involved in the community theatre at Wigton namely the John Peel Theatre where she too is sorely missed by the company. In fact we were all involved, including Mum who was the best pianist I ever knew having played from age 5 or 6 and being licentiate level certified. She taught music for much of her life. My involvement at the theatre with my sons continues.
Those of you who know the family would know that I have known Catherynn for 36 of my 48 years. We met at a party when I was 12, began dating when I was 15, and were married nine years later.
We were married for 23 years, and she remains one half of me, my twin flame, and I wish to thank all of those who sent condolences and love and prayers of support.
I also wish to thank the staff at the Newcastle Infirmary who looked after Catherynn in her final days. They provided me with a box of memories including a lock of hair, a hand print, candle of remembrance and her final ECG trace. No other hospital I know would have done this. I plan to have the ECG tattooed across my heart so her heart can beat with mine until its my turn. Her hand print, taken after her passing will be tattooed on my right shoulder so I feel she has a hand on my shoulder always.
Prior to October last year I had begun professional services in the form of consulting to owners and suppliers of hyperbaric chambers alike. This went very much better than I even dreamed of and an association between us and The Wellness Tree group developed. The Wellness Tree Group manufacture and import a range of flexible and rigid hyperbaric chambers under the brand name Henshaw Hyperbaric. The service I provide centres around legal and regulatory matters, training, health and safety and the scientific and therapeutic benefits and aspects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. They have some super products and I hope to bring some of these to Cumbria.
Following my recent journey, I’m pleased to report that I shall be returning to work for at least a couple of hours a day. My ability to write content is considerably limited when compared with last year’s contributions. The coma has left me with considerable nerve damage in both shoulders which negatively affects particularly fine motor skill and grip strength in both my hands. I have neuropathy in my head, face, hands, back and feet. Incidentally I’m writing this article using voice to text technology since my typing remains challenged for the time being.
I decided to write this article to update those who have followed along the last few years that Cumbria Hyperbaric shall continue. In fact, having seen, heard, witnessed, and felt everything I have over the past four months, I’m even more determined now as I believe a great many people would benefit if we were successful. During my time in hospital a number of people passed away around me and this has left me more determined to help others if I can. Almost three months in hospital has changed me in ways I can’t explain.
I’m currently unable to pressurise myself in light of the fact that we don’t know how damaged my lungs are. It would certainly help the neuropathy that much I do know. In due course I will learn the extent of lung damage I have sustained and hopefully will be able to go into the chamber again myself. However, if this is not to be, I still plan to make this facility available to others.
I also decided to share my story as a dear friend in South Africa I used to work with suggested I do. I do this because I need to know that I’m not alone in my loss and grief. I also do this to let others know and they too are not alone. There is help out there, seek it out if you need it as no one can do this alone and I am blessed with the most supportive family and circle of friends.
I have also corresponded and spoken with many people suffering from long Covid as well as those who report vaccine injury. When I am able, and when the association with the Wellness Tree Group picks up again, I am hoping to make great strides in acquiring a two-atmosphere therapeutic chamber which I hope to site in the Wigton area. Long Covid has been shown to benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy as has vaccine injury in those that have experienced this unfortunate event. This is not an attack on vaccines or an endorsement of either side of the arguments. I don’t mind admitting at my point of view has shifted somewhat with regard to the Covid Vaccine. I do wonder if this could have made a difference in the outcomes I am now left to face. I also wonder if it was the IV that saved my life. In fact, I wonder a great many things all day and all night and suspect I will for the remainder of my time in this life.
I felt the need to share this in the hope that sharing a problem helps reduce its impact and in the hope that the many in a similar position get some measure of comfort knowing that they are not alone. Sharing something lessens its grip and power over us.
To regular readers, I hope to be back soon with more scientific research, information, and hope. In the meantime, the website remains a fairly good information resource and I am, as always available to speak to anyone on any level and platform about hyperbaric oxygen therapy or just about anything that I can help with.