Growing up in London, with my best friend from school, I was busy climbing trees and causing mischief, until one day I noticed his eldest sister, Carol, blossoming in front of me. One evening I asked her on a date to the pictures one cold autumn night in 1973. We went as friends and returned as boy and girlfriend. Little did we know that our destiny was being mapped out in front of us. Over the years we split up and came back together several times like iron filings being drawn magnetically back together. In 1982 we were married and embarked upon a wondrous life together.
Living in London, we always dreamed of moving to the countryside and eventually moved to Suffolk, which ironically is flat. We spent our time holidaying in North Wales, The Lake District and Scotland, preferring the rugged wilderness of the mountains and embracing the sheer beauty of the surroundings.
We continued to enjoy this more and more as the years passed, with our two children, and eventually, their partners too, we had many plans of our retirement in these happy places.
Unfortunately, our plans were abruptly crushed. One Morning, Carol got up as usual and collapsed without any warning. My invaluable first aid knowledge managed to keep her stable until the paramedics, ambulances, and air ambulance arrived, and put Carol into a coma to literally save her life. We had no warning whatsoever. We were a healthy outdoor loving couple that didn’t drink, smoke or have any underlying health issues. After a number of stays in hospital, Carol was diagnosed with advanced Cholangiocarcinoma - bile duct cancer - which due to the livers capability of regenerating itself, does not show any symptoms until it is advanced. This disease was the reason for Carol’s collapse, as it caused her blood to thicken and cause a pulmonary embolism in her lungs which in turn, caused multiple cardiac arrests. Carol survived against all odds but unfortunately, the cancer is inoperable, not curable, and has a very poor life expectancy. Whilst she battled heroically against this, she developed septic shock, again, a life threatening illness which Carol largely survived, however in a little over six months, Carol was overwhelmed, and weakened to the point that she lost her brave fight. The boys lost their mum, her family lost a sister and I lost my wife, a great friend and the one true love of my life, to something we had no prior warning of.
We, as a family and group of friends, have decided to honour Carol by supporting the AMMF and The UK Sepsis Trust, the two charities that specifically deal with the illnesses that Carol had. Our intention is to carry out, in Carol’s name, a series of endurance activities, such as climbing all the Wainwright fells in the lake district, (all 214 of them) and walking the Coast to Coast walk, (a stroll of some 200 miles from the North sea to the Irish sea). Obviously this will not be done overnight, the sheer logistics of travelling as a group to the lakes etc will have to be planned and supported. But we are determined to do this to support the charities in the overall hope of saving others from the heartbreak we are going through.
We need to get trained in first aid and the use of defibrillator equipment, and of course, get fit. We will also be equipped with action cams, drones (2 of us are registered pilots) to record our adventures. We will be uploading our progress on all social media sites as well as our web page, for all our supporters to follow. We will also be involving the press, radio and seeking support from local organisations such as the mountain rescue service, advice only, rather than actual rescue! Our numbers will vary and have to be Covid safe, but we are determined to promote these two charities that most people have not heard of.
Please follow us, donate to our causes, and hopefully enjoy through our eyes the beauty of our country, so that the loss of a truly beautiful woman, both inside and out, is not in vain.
Please follow the links to the AMMF and the UK Sepsis Trust to learn more.
Thank you, Mike and the MICA TRAVELS Team.