Mike was 71yrs when he died
Had been a tetraplegic following an accident in the RAF when he was 17/18.
Married one of his nurses, Jan, in 1964
Jan died in 2007
Mike continued to live at home with a series of 'live in' carers
Health took a turn for the worse when he was hospitalised in 2010 with pneumonia
He was definately in control of everything up until about a month ago when his breathing started getting much worse - even doing things on his computer became a real effort.
For the last 2 weeks he was in bed and not able to do anything. The email I sent you which he half dictated to me (I made the rest up) was more or less the last thing he did.
I'm sure Mike was a great inspiration to many of your members especially the newly paralysised. He certainly valued the contact with the members. he used to talk to me about it (no details - didn't break any confidences)
Mike didn't want a funeral so it will be a private cremation - no service - and his ashes scattered on the outfield of the local criket pitch which is where he had Jan's ashes scattered. He used to spend many happy afternoons there watching cricket and was a Vice Captain for many years.
Mike died on the evening of 21st March 2012.
Mike's only blood relative is a half sister in New Zealand.
The following was written by Mike:
I'm just an Old Guy now who broke his neck over "Half a Century Ago". It sounds a long time when its written like that doesn't it!
Back then I was young, good-looking and had hair!! :-)
I was a pilot in the RAF flying Hunter's, but that part of my life ended when I suffered a C4/5 Spinal Cord Injury; explosions and people don't mix well.. :-)
Try and think what it was like for someone like me back in those day. No computers, no mobile phones, no electric wheelchairs, no access anywhere or disabled loos; it was a crafty leg bag empty behind the nearest bush, or in a drain down a back alley. Disabled people couldn't get insurance or get a mortgage, so life was hard, but we coped ok.
Society was very different back then, with different values. It wasn't too long after WW11, so people had great respect for ex servicemen; they would go out of their way to help you, without being patronising.
Think of this fact. There are 3 times as many people in the World since I was injured!!
I've done a lot since then so life has been kind to me. I married my nurse Jan, and we had a great 43 years together. Sadly, and after a 13 year battle against cancer, she died 3 years ago this July.
I'm still doing ok but as I approach the 70 mark, the ageing process is taking its toll on my health.
My days are very full and always have been, but as I've become older I've learnt to adapt to new things. In between all my daily chores like managing my own Care and doing the accounts I still find time to write to friends and go to Rock and Pop Concerts. I'm also trying to write a book about my life, but can never find enough hours in the day, so I've only written 18500 words so far. I'm usually up and doing something at 8.30 am and go to bed around 11.00.
Even after 50 plus years paralysed from the neck down, I'm still learning new things. I also like to help others, or put a smile on someone's face with my stupid antics.