In the early hours of Friday 12th July, my beautiful wife, Kelly Clarke, suffered a massive and total stroke, just weeks after being diagnosed with heart failiure. This is the reason for my anonymity from social media and the complete lack of administration around the business. I can safely say that 2019 couldn’t have been more cruel for Kelly and all the family.
Following 4 months in critical care at Heartlands, Kel has now moved to rehabilitation and, although progress is frustratingly slow, there are some reasons to be cheerful. Any reason is good enough to cheer and my boys and I will continue to invest every little bit of faith we have in the amazing NHS staff that have dedicated their time to a deserving wife and mother.
To see a proud, strong, physically robust and mentally tenacious woman, just 45 years of age, cut down by such a blow is impossible to comprehend. At present Kelly is paralysed from the neck down and unable to eat, swallow or talk, although she can communicate with eye movements, and when not sleeping, she will often chuckle at innuendo or sick humour (that’s my girl!) Our 20th wediing anniversary passed two weeks ago and what is usually a celebration of love was even more poignant this year than any previous.
I’m aware that many friends will be unaware of this situation and the decison to have a social media ‘blackout’ was taken by the family in the interest Of Kel’s dignity. Should you have the mental capacity, please keep us in your thoughts; if you choose religion, then your prayers, too. If nothing else, please be understanding if we’re not ourselves at times, but most of all, Kel has indicated that she wants her story out in the hope that you’ll join her, me, our boys, Kel’s Mums, Sister and all the family as we utter our hourly mantra…