Before, during and after the Lockdown period I decided to record a daily journal of what my close family and I did during this unprecedented time in our lives. But for us the real Lockdown was in the summer of 2019 when our then 21-year-old son Alexander (Alex) spent nearly three months in Southampton General Hospital after contracting sepsis in May 2019. The infection was so bad that it not only nearly killed him but it also penetrated the artificial tubing around his heart meaning he had to undergo major reconstructive open-heart surgery for the fourth time in his life. Whilst recovering from both the infection and the surgery, he also suffered a stroke. We were therefore going to make sure Alex had the best possible Summer to make up for what he missed out on in 2019, and despite the fact that we were in Lockdown.
On completion of the journal, which I had only really kept for posterity’s sake bearing in mind the uniqueness of Lockdown, I decided that I would use the record to write a book not only about our daily experiences, which includes some amusing and relatable anecdotes, but also a chronicle of what actually happened, from Boris Johnson’s illness, to Captain Sir Tom Moore’s amazing charitable feat to the VE Day celebrations.
There was though an underlying theme to the book, as on April 13th, Alex declared that he wanted to run a 10K from scratch on the anniversary of his most recent heart operation, May 13th, to prove to himself that he had the endurance and strength to achieve something he had never done before in his life. In fact, the furthest he had ever run prior was the length of a cricket pitch whilst batting for his local cricket club.
Against the odds and after a gruelling month of training to build up to his challenge, Alex remarkably achieved his dream of running a 10K in an amazing time of one hour and 23 minutes, on the day after Lockdown restrictions were eased. Additionally, in just six days he raised over £3000.00 for Wessex Heartbeat, a cardiac charity based at the hospital that has supported him and us as a family over the many years.
‘Fifty Days of Lockdown’ is a unique and intriguing book containing facts and fun coupled with public interest and emotion but above all it is a symbol of hope showing how one young man overcame adversity hopefully to inspire those who have experienced so much despair, sadness and despondency during these extraordinary times.
The book, which could become an item of great historical significance in the future, was published by Michael Kurn of DesireDreamVision and launched on Amazon on Friday 13th November, with a donation from the sale of each book going to Wessex Heartbeat a charity based at Southampton General Hospital who have helped us so much as a family during some very tough times over the years. In fact last week I donated £600.00 to the charity from initial book sales, which received some great publicity and I also received a letter of thanks from HRH Countess of Wessex who is the Patron of Wessex Heartbeat, who has read the book.
I am really keen to get the message out about the book to sell more books and in turn raise more funds for Wessex Heartbeat. With the human interest and the fundraising angle, I hope people will find it a compelling and uplifting story where there has been and continues to be so much trouble and strife throughout the last year.
‘Fifty Days of Lockdown’ is available to buy on Amazon with an amount for the sale of each book being donated to Wessex Heartbeat – be inspired and get your piece of the history of one of the most unprecedented times in our lives.
To view the book on Amazon click here