PROFESSIONAL CRICKETERS' TRUST PRESS RELEASE
"He was kind. He was gentle. John was the loveliest man."
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John Derrick and his wife Christine’s lives changed forever when he abruptly suffered a seizure in August 2016.
The former Glamorgan man survived well beyond doctors’ initial estimations, living out his final seven months with the support of Christine as well as the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
Christine has now written a blog describing her memories of John, the shock of his sudden illness and how the Trust has supported the Derrick family in the years since…
John was the loveliest man. The absolute loveliest man.
He was gentle, he was kind, we had a very happy marriage. We were married for eight years and they were the best eight years of my life.
He ate and slept cricket – everything was cricket for him. It was his life.
In August 2016, John complained just for a very short time of feeling as if he’d had sunstroke, so we went to the GP and the doctor diagnosed sinusitis. A week later, John had a massive seizure. I wasn’t actually with him at the time, he was with his mother.
We were told not to expect him to live the day. I can’t begin to explain to you how that felt.
He was transferred to intensive care and he did manage to survive the day. The following morning the doctors tried to bring John out of his induced coma, so they could work out the effects that the seizure had on him.
John came out of it really quickly which was a huge surprise to the doctors. He had full movement of all his limbs and no issue with his speech. After John went for an MRI scan, we were told he had a lesion on his brain.
Following that, he had brain surgery and again came out of this remarkably well, but within weeks he became very ill. Things had rapidly deteriorated with his health to the point where he was no longer really able to be mobile.
I had never been so scared in all my life. I couldn’t eat or sleep. It was dreadful. To see this big, happy man being reduced to nothing.
I had an awareness of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, obviously through John. When we were discussing how things were going to pan out for him, John spoke about getting himself and the both of us in contact with the Trust, to see what they could do to help him.
Within two and a half months, we had a wet room, we had hard flooring put down. It really transformed how I could look after John at home, how he could still be involved with the family.
The speed at which the charity responded to our needs took the pressure off myself as far as moving and handling John and safely being able to look after him was concerned.
I think the support we received from the Trust enabled us to continue to lead a dignified, independent end of life.
For more information on the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, click here.