In October 2020 I was admitted for surgery to repair a hole in my Pulmonary vein, which seemed easy enough, however, when the bonnet was up they discovered a lot of other parts of the heart needed attention.
So I ended up having 7 procedures and a prolonged stay on ECMO and the ITU. I lost November 2020 and have no recollection whatsoever of where or what was going on? Needless to say the team at UHS were actively seeking solutions to the numerous complications we encountered and brought me through a perilous period of recovery. My poor wife Suzy had several conversations with the team regarding the likelihood of me not completing that journey. These were terrible times for Suzy, to which I was totally oblivious.
Well I am now enjoying a continuing recovery and I am hoping to complete the Camino de Santiago before the year of Post Op is up.
My very good friend John Ewins has arranged the trip and Iwill accompany him, on the 800 Kilometre trek. Other friends will involve themselves in the fundraising process. So let’s see where we can get to?
Well I must say, Walking along the Camino de Santiago was quite an epic?
Seeing some amazing historical sites and meeting some very different people, of all Nationalities. Some of my old Military friends will know what I mean when I say it was like a 400 mile+ advance to contact, with hotels, some only marginally better than Bivvi sites! Very well TAC signed with yellow arrows all the way, either in the footpaths or on walls, with the sign of the shell placed in your line of vision.
John and I returned this weekend, after a night in Santiago, After we got to town, an hour before the Pilgrim Mass, at the Cathedral, queued for an hour to get in and witness the “Big Swinging Thingy” the Botafumerio (Smoke Belcher) the largest Censer in the World, thought we’d made it when 10 places back from the door, they said sorry full and we were turned away?
So decided to go and get our Pilgrim Certificates, went to the Office with our Pilgrim Passports, duly stamped all the way from St Jean de Port, told 4 hour wait? Well Bollocks to that and went for a beer and lunch. Had a good tour of the Cathedral after lunch but no certificate or Smoke Belcher Matinee.
During this last 4-5 weeks there have been times when I thought this was a bloody bad idea, my feet started to fall apart, despite my strapping them in strategic places and I still haven’t regained a proper level of heart and lung fitness. However, my friend John Ewins has been a pillar of strength, encouraging me all the way and demanding that I rest on some days so as not to undue the good work of Southamptons Cardiac Surgery Unit, Thank you John! More he was not prepared to tell Suzy I was coming home in the Hold?
The support of everyone for both John and My escapades plus the financial generosity shown by all has been amazing, We are nudging £6k and would dearly love to add a few more numbers to the total, but thanks to all of you , as a whole and I’ll be speaking to people individually over the next few days and weeks.