What is the mark of a hero? Is it a soldier, running into battle, looking death in the face? Is it the athlete who breaks a world record ? Is it the activist who risks prison, torture or death to fight for justice? I have known many quiet heroes who fight their battles with dignity and bravery but none have been so resolute and brave as Michael.

A week ago he awoke around 6am as usual but became ill very rapidly, eventually being taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital. He was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia and spent two days being stabilised before I was able to take him home again. Words like “comfortable” and “peaceful” were mooted as goals for him but Michael isn’t ready to give up. He still firmly believes that Plan A will happen.

But his miracle hasn’t happened yet and as today has worn on he has become sicker, despite our best efforts to make him better. The antibiotics don’t seem to be making any headway and his condition is continuing to deteriorate.

The NHS is so often criticised for not being good enough but they have been magnificent; from the District Nurses who have so patiently and caringly explained the different options, the GP who stayed at work late into the evening to make sure everything had been done that could be done, the ambulance staff who tried to prevent an acute admission, the nurses in the EAU who watched him through the night and made sure he got his medication on time as well as finding a bed for me, the staff on 6C who went above and beyond to make him comfortable and let me sleep by his bed and the HCA who hunted down extra pillows and ice cold water. They have all done as much as they can so now it’s down to us.

We’re looking death in the face and Michael has not flinched. He hasn’t cried or tried to shout, he hasn’t run from the fight but is meeting it head on. He is my  strength even when he is too weak to move his hands. Today someone sent the following verses to encourage us and to honour him I want to share them with you, because this is Michael:

Isaiah 61, 1 – 3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim  good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.

So if you pray, please pray for a miracle. If you don’t, why not give it a go? You never know.

25 thoughts on “Ill

  1. David Morrison

    I’m praying now for Michael as I continue to do every day, and I have complete confidence in God’s grace and love for each and every one of us. May the Lord bless and keep you. David

    Sent from my iPhone….. ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark Gowans

    Michael is surely the very definition of a Hero. My thoughts are with you all – will be certainly be saying a Prayer


  3. Moira Hinkley -Smith

    Dear Julia , Micheal and all the family , we know our Lord is watching over you;He will pick you up and carry you in your time of need. Micheal has been your strength , and always will be You are in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all. Moira and Ken

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pat Rooney

      Dearest Mike and Ju, you are both so brave and strong, think of you with love every day. You probably know me well enough to know I have never prayed but as Mike says give it a try, so I will. Much love to you both, Patxxx


  4. Sue

    Julia a hero to me is brave, courageous , strong in the ‘inner being’ Yes that’s Michael. “In quietness and confidence is your strength” you both are not far from our prayers and thoughts. You are incredible too Julia .

    Liked by 2 people

    • James R

      Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV
      [29] He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. [30] Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; [31] but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. …

      Praying for the miracle


  5. Sue Quantick

    You are both in our thoughts and our prayers. God is our strength and comfort at all times. With love. Sue and Mike xx


  6. Pauline Brown

    Julia and Michael you are the strongest, funniest and bravest couple I have ever known. My prayers are all yours at this time and if the miracle isn’t forthcoming that home you will be preparing Michael better be the haven that Julia has envisaged. Keep your faith and family close . Death may win the battle but not the fight. xx


  7. Jeff

    Hi you amazing strong and faithful people . I have added my voice to the Plan A prayer. All my thoughts will be firmly fixed on you all.


  8. Heather Watts

    You two are absolute heroes, your courage, positivity and humour in the face of adversity is truly humbling. Fantastic examples of human beings. I had a lump in my throat as I read this blog and send lots of love and positive vibes your way. My thought are with you and the family xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Heather Watts

    You two are absolute heroes, your courage, positivity and humour in the face of adversity is truly humbling. Fantastic examples of human beings. I had a lump in my throat as I read this blog and send lots of love and positive vibes your way. My thought are with you and the family xxx


  10. Elizabeth Dunn

    Ju, Juliet and I were talking this morning about that day at the school bus stop in Steventon when you told us that you and Mike had got together. Who could ever have known what you would become? Such an inspiring example of love and generosity and mutual support. I am sending all my love and praying like never before. Liz xxx


  11. John and Gill Shore

    We join with all your friends in claiming God’s power in supporting you both. “Underneath are the EVERLASTING ARMS.”


  12. Graham

    My thoughts and prayers are with both of you, you are both heroes in my eyes. Your openness, humour and courage through all of this is truly inspirational.


  13. Tony L

    I have spent the last 15 minutes not knowing what to write, tears filling my eyes….
    You are both heroes and such an inspiration to us all
    Tony x x


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