Goodbye to all that

A candle was blown out at Christmas, when the life of a fellow cystic fibrosis (CF)* adult was cut horribly short. For me, this has always been the hardest part…

He left a lasting impression on anyone that had the pleasure of knowing him and for those that were aware of him. Together his family and friends shared his journey, his infectious personality and unquenchable spirit; celebrating his highs and witnessing his lows.

I’m sure that he would have experienced and appreciated more in his forty years on this earth than most could achieve in a lifetime. He would have lived life to the full, making sure every second counted because he knew that life was likely to be short.

Through his hockey playing, education, work career, family, marriage and precious fatherhood he kept defying the odds and proving all the medical predictions wrong.

I doubt he would seek any pity about his illness or complain much about the grim daily medication but he would have wanted people to understand and appreciate his remorseless plight. When there was nothing to be happy about and everyone was in despair, his smile would light up the room, put people at ease and warm the hearts of anyone he met.

After clinging onto life for so long, he wouldn’t have wanted to depart when there was still so much to enjoy, do and achieve. For him he knew there would be no more changes of season, rain, sun, sport, films, tears, laughter, smiles, frowns, sunrises, sunsets, dawn, dusk, television, radio, alcohol, holidays, playtime with his children, hugs with his wife and family.

But he would probably have had enough of the relentless struggle with a terminator of an illness that doesn’t take many prisoners. His ravaged body which had fought so courageously for all those years would have likely cried out “NO MORE!”

No more pill taking, nebulisers, inhalers, physiotherapy, injections, pain, weariness, intravenous medication, lung function tests, coughing fits, wheezing, hospital appointments, operations and in-patient wards. NO MORE obdurate suffering.

I expect after fighting against CF for over 14,000 days he would have wanted some longed for peace and tranquillity, to breathe easy for the first time and be set free.

I’ve always been quite wary to mention the death of CFers in this blog, but we can and should take amazing solace and pride in the fact that he outlived all expectations, defied so many odds and made a positive impression on so many lives. His life did make a real difference and he does leave a lasting legacy which is critical when your time is up.

His fundraising efforts raised a considerable amount of money to offer a healthier future for the next generation of CF sufferers and their families, so that one day CF will stand for ‘Cure Found’.

His spirit will live on and shine brightly – a beacon of light and hope for all of a tough life well lived. We shouldn’t cry because it’s over, rather we should smile because it happened…

This blog is dedicated to the extraordinary life of Paul Harvey whom I never met, but knew virtually through a mutual hockey friend. I’m glad I was able to connect with Paul online. We were so similar in our stature, handsome looks, demeanour, hockey playing, drinking prowess, enhanced joy of life, family and health experiences that it’s almost like we were the same soul but in different bodies. My sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Sarah, and his beloved family. You will be missed Paul.

If you want to donate to Paul’s Just Giving CF website, click here.

I will keep you posted on my life affirming moments, trials and tribulations as and when they happen. Please keep reading and sharing my blog and sign up (on the right hand side tab) if you have not already done so.

Yours cup half full.


Tim Wotton

* Cystic Fibrosis is one of the UK’s most common life threatening inherited diseases, affecting over 8,500 people. The condition affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus. This makes it hard to breathe and digest food. Each week, five babies are born with the condition, however, each week, three young lives are also lost to it. There is currently no cure for CF. However, existing gene therapy trials in the UK are bringing people with the illness closer to a form of cure but CF is not that well known and would benefit from more public donations.

For more information and to find out more view the CF Trust Website.


About Tim Wotton

I live with my lovely wife (Katie) and spirited ten-year old son (Felix) in Morden, Surrey; working full-time as an internal communications specialist in the Oil & Gas sector. I have played sport, particularly hockey, tennis all my life and now regularly go to the gym. Cystic fibrosis has been a huge factor in my life, but not one that overshadows it. I have always had great support from my loving family - parents Margaret and Douglas (RIP), elder brother Chris and my twin brother Jez. I have many rich life insights based on knowing I have a reduced life expectancy and battling against the odds for over 44 years. My eyes and heart have been opened by my health struggle. I feel empowered to share my life lessons to help anyone with health and life issues to overcome. My passions include Paul Smith clothes, dress shirts (believing that it's enlightening to dress like it's your last day on earth), Alfa Romeo cars, spicey food, Harlequins and England rugby, Southampton FC, Wimbledon village and common, Dorset, seascapes, sunsets and military history. I am available for public speaking on this subject matter and can be contacted via timwottonAThotmailDOTcom. I have written a book 'How have I cheated death?' based on my euphoric countdown year to 40 which was published in 2014 and won the 2015 'Best Achievement' Award at the UK People's Book Prize. It is available via e-book, audiobook and paperback at Amazon and to order from UK bookstores. Go to the relevant sites below or in the UK go to a WH SMITH, Waterstones or Foyles bookstore and give them my name, book title and this ISBN number (9781849637190). It’s also available via GARDNER’S, BERTRAM’S, AUSTINMACAULEY.COM, BLACKWELL’S, PLAY.COM, AMAZON.CO.UK AND AMAZON.COM
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16 Responses to Goodbye to all that

  1. Sara Bowery says:

    Very sad news my thoughts are with his family..x

  2. Tom Pearson says:

    very sad Tim but what a beautiful eulogy and testament to his life. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. God bless.

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Thanks Tom. it was hard to write as those words might well apply to me one day… I wake up every day blessed that I’m still here. One day at a time. Plan for the future but live for the day.


  3. Sarah Harvey says:

    Thank you for using your blog to mention Paul’s fight for life. He would have been proud of your words and agreed with wholeheartedly. He always believed his glass was half full too. We wish you luck for the future. Sarah, Sophie and Alfie Harvey x

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dear Sarah, Thanks for taking time to write back, it must be such a hard surreal time for you and the family. I’m glad my words resonated with you. My thoughts are with you all.


  4. Valerie McCarthy says:

    Sarah just sent me your link to read your tribute to my brother Paul and I’m now going through your whole blog. Thanks for you kind words and keep up the fight and you just may make the big 50 i’ll also show this to my parents. Many Thanks Val x

  5. Sharyn Boswell says:

    That’s a lovely tribute, Tim. Sounds like you two would have caused some serious trouble together. Keep on inspiring us!

  6. Patricia Ross says:

    Thank you for bringing me the story of a wonderful man and a life well spent, God rest him and God bless his family.

  7. Milly Harvey says:

    This is such a beautiful tribute and it makes me feel so proud to call Paul my uncle..! This really has meant alot to me and my family..! My dad, Paul’s brother, is truley touched by this..! We wish you all the best for the future..! Xx

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Hi Milly,
      I felt very touched that my tribute has meant so much to you and your family. I don’t doubt that Paul’s spirit will always a source of inspiration and perspective for you.

      All the best

  8. Natasha Roberts says:

    Beautifully written, as always in your blog entries. Such courage is an inspiration and support as our 9 old Twin sons, Oliver & James starting 2 weeks of IVs tomorrow as lung functions showing recent decline. They are full of mischief – packing their cases this evening, stashing snacks & choc & show every sign of having the CF fighting spirit!
    Best wishes to you & your family on this snowy eve!
    Natasha & Nigel Roberts X x x x

    • Tim Wotton says:

      Dear Natasha,
      Thanks for your kind words. Your twins will need all your love and support ove the next few weeks of IV’s – good luck! I’m glad there’s a sense of fun as they prepare to go to hospital – it makes it all bearable.

      All the very best

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