Jeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they taJeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be with his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they take this painful and unexpected journey.

Moving from ICU

Dabi, Catherine and I met with one of the consultants yesterday and early signs are that Ben may have a form of vasculitis of the brain – basically an inflammatory blood vessel disease, and in his case affecting a small area of the left side cortex. It is, however, an early diagnosis and may change as the vast battery of tests continue. He’s now been transferred from ICU and onto the neurology ward, ironically adjoining my cancer chemo ward. Tomorrow after I receive my final immunotherapy, I’ll be able to walk out of my ward and straight into his.
He’s now off all machine monitoring and support – the tracheostomy was removed – and he’s breathing unaided, albeit with a small amount of oxygen being piped into his nostrils. He’s occasionally semi-responsive when we call his name, and is starting to regain slight use of his right side. However, the general feeling we get when sitting with him is that the lights are on, but nobody’s home. We found it hard to leave him last evening as he was curled into the foetal position in his bed, hand regularly touching his head as if he might have a headache. He just looked vulnerable. Staff warned us that it’s hard for families when patients leave ICU as they become so used to the intensive one-on-one patient care, whereas now he’s left alone for longer periods of time. It’s looking like we need to be prepared for the medium-long term haul which will also involve some time in rehab.
I’m conscious none of us can ever say what tomorrow brings, but for Ben, the future feels like there’s an uphill path to walk for some time. Dabi is doing wonderfully well – obviously so concerned and anxious for Ben, but maintaining a growing inner strength. We all at times feel battered by what’s happening. Understandably, Lydia (15) said a few days ago, ‘I feel like my world is crumbling’. This morning, as we talked over breakfast, she told me she was feeling stronger. Some days are easier than others.
So, we pray on, mindful of these words from Psalm 145.14, sent to us by a dear praying friend –
The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.

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Comments on: "Moving from ICU" (5)

  1. Ruth Prince said:

    In the presence of incalculable distress you and your family are an invaluable example of staying strong with His upholding. Best wishes for your treatment tomorrow and for Ben’s day by day recovery. Love Ruth

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Adam Robinson said:

    Always following your journey and thinking and praying for you all. Lots of Love, Adam and family xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Noden said:

    So many people are walking with your family in these difficult times and rejoice at every scrap of hopeful news. God Bless you all xx Sue and Roger N

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have also read “News in a text”. Praying this is further toward the light. Praying on. Frank & Jean.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rev Simeon DAMDAR said:

    Be assured of our continuous Prayer and Intercession, dear Jeremy and Catherine…..For You , Ben, Catherine and the whole Family.
    Thanks for your “Sowing in Tears, Reaping in Joy”. I remember the occasion very well at the Nazareth Village” in Galilee. and your Solo rendition of the Lord’s Prayer in the Maori Language at the Mount of Olives and in the Church of St Annes near the Pool of Bethesda. when everyone stood still listening.
    May everyone stand still as they read through the Article above you wrote on Psalm 126.
    The Lord has a lot yet to do through you.
    And I shall say this verse backwards:- “Thee Forsake nor Thee Leave, Never will I”…Heb 13:5b.

    Liked by 1 person

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