It’s time to say Thank You. A really big one and to many people. It totally chokes me up to look back and review how many people have been involved on so many levels and with incredible levels of commitment and sacrifice.
On any adventure, you meet people who leave precious memories for you to savour and sift through again and again and on this particular journey there are so many.
I would like to take this opportunity to stop and thank all the people who helped get Will home, in order of appearance.
- Judy Lusby, Will’s sister, for allowing me to take over the responsibility for this campaign.
- Dr. Hugo Bauer and Kerwin Otero at the Hospital Contingencia in Tarapoto.
- Paul Guerin who called down to Peru and spoke spanish on my behalf.
- Lili Tapullima Oyola, one of Will’s new colleagues, who flew with him to the hospital in Lima on a very anxious plane ride.
- My English acquaintance Virginia Travers for introducing me to her relatives Rosa Johnson and Juan Perez in Lima, who picked me up from the airport and took me directly to the hospital and pushed for him to be accepted for treatment by the Peruvian national health (SIS).
- Dr. Alberto Torres and Dr. Diaz and the nursing team at the Dos de Mayo Hospital for performing his initial assessments and taking him for his brain scans.
- Rosa Ten who introduced me to Dr. Oscar Vigil who gave me a bed for the night and briefed me on the Peruvian medical system.
- Claudia de Olazabal at the British Embassy for walking me through the protocol and keeping his passport safe.
- Denise Crisanto Clark for showing up out of the blue and volunteering to help me with translation and the Peruvian hospital system.
- Miriam Guzman for her help in translation and visits in the UCI.
- Dr. Jesus Araujo in the Dos de Mayo UCI and Dr. Guerrero who performed his tracheotomy and stabilised him through his 59th birthday.
- Dr. Ricardo and his team of nurses in the main ward.
- The SIS representatives, Ricardo, José Louis and Alba for being so generous with their financial support.
- Rosa Johnson’s cousin Sylvio Lagos Espinel, President of the Superior Court of the Northern region of Peru for retrieving and investigating the initial Police report of the incident (RIP: Jan 1st 2017)
- The doctors who gave me second opinions on his scans, Dr. Mark Eastham (USA), Dr. Kevin O’Niell (UK) and Dr. John Thorpe (UK).
- Jo Healey at the BABC for donating flights and Swissotel hotel vouchers from her raffle.
- My church and choir colleagues Brother Richard Edward Helmer, Steve Beecroft, Albert and Marilyn Campbell, Gay Johnson, Scott & Kitty Hayes, Randy Tarpey-Schwed, Terry Peck, Joan Dedo, Colin and Sylvana Wong, Amy Wilson, Isabel Block, Juliana Jensen and Leslie Veen for their prayers, support and time off choir for my travel.
- Paul Andreini for donating air miles for my hotel on the second visit.
- Zendy, his private nurse to help us at the Dos de Mayo.
- Luisa Sologuren, Alvar0 Delgado and Monica Franchy for donating blood.
- Scanes Bentley for two of my flights to Lima and Denise’s flight home.
- Matt Searle MBE of the Lucie Blackman Trust for help getting medivac flight quotes.
- Elisabeth Rojas at the care home and her team of nurses.
- Silvia Talavera, the visiting neurologist at the care home.
- Chris Marchington for getting publicity with BBC Hereford early on with Toni McDonald and Elliott Webb and for organising the party.
- Rosemary Underhay, Carlo (Charles) McCoy, Penny Marces and Claudia Sevillano Chávez from the Anglican church for their visits.
- Claire Trigger for her many voice messages and pictures.
- Richard Paddon for his support and liaison with Judy Lusby, Will’s sister.
- Carla Hughes for her recordings and YouTube videos of Will playing with her band.
- Nordic Naturals for their donation of 6 large bottles of Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Martha Stafford and Steven Allegra for giving me time off work to fly down 4 times in 4 months and covering my shifts.
- Nancy the physiotherapist who came in 4 times a week to the care home.
- Dr. Martin Alfageme who did Will’s 3 monthly check ups and replacement of his tracheo.
- Chris Munton for running a half marathon and donating all the money to Will.
- Holly Spice for organising the bands for the Life and Soul of the Party gig
- The Victory Pub and Jim Kenyon, Mayor of Hereford for donating food and beer.
- Dr Hugo Siu who performed the critical “fit to fly” examination and written report, for free.
- Fabiola Aguilar, Vice Consul at the Foreign Office in Lima and her colleague Cynthia Carbajal for their help with Peruvian immigration and paying for the ambulance to Lima airport.
- Carlos and Frances Crisanto for allowing us to host Will in his last month at their home.
- His nursing team Maria, César, Jorgé and Giovanna and the home help.
- Maya Marchington for being the unstoppable force persuading East Surrey Hospital to take Will on his arrival.
- Jane Griffiths, Deputy Head of Operations at East Surrey Hospital for accepting Will so graciously and Sara Reeve, Logistics Manager, for organising the ambulance and clearances at the airport.
- Andrew Nash for writing a letter to the Captain to let him know about our special passenger.
- The Captain and crew of British Airways flight 2238, especially Matt Nolan and Louise Bascombe for their care and kindness throughout the flight.
- Ambulance team Richard and Karen Hartley for getting him from the aircraft to hospital.
And all of you, the hundreds of people who have donated throughout the 9 months of campaigning.
To my local friends in Mill Valley who supported me through this, Michael Banks, Karin Jordan, Suzannah Rose, Braeda Horan, Pauline Barry, Kate Walton, Allison Levenson, Anna Skacel, Oliver Marks, Jasper Haynes and Ellie Giannone.
I think you will agree that there is one very special person that needs another thousand thank you’s and that is Denise Crisanto. I have no words to describe the depths of my appreciation, astonishment and amazement at how much she has given of herself to a man she had never met. The dedication, persistence, belief and love she has shown for Will has been truly remarkable and it will always be remembered.
And to Frances Crisanto (and her husband Carlos) for allowing us into their private home to nurse Will and accompany him on his flight home.
And to Chris and Maya Marchington again for getting us over the last giant hurdle hours before take off and for the ongoing publicity on BBC Radio Hereford.
On behalf of Will, thank you one and all.
P.S. Buy travel insurance!!!