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.
* 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.