Thought for the Month – August 2018

A Second Chance

by Beth Brindle

Here I am again writing for the magazine and wondering just what to say. However, to continue on a theme from last time, I am compelled to continue my everlasting gratitude to our wonderful NHS.

2017-2018 has been a nightmare year for the Brindle/Conchar family. Last July my husband, Eric, was taken ill whilst on holiday in Devon, and the treatment he received at Exeter Hospital was the beginning of a long road to recovery. He had got double pneumonia and was eventually transferred to the High dependency Unit at Bolton Hospital where, as one doctor told us, would have been so expensive in America!  We nearly lost him but the amazing care there pulled him through as did a later return for a serious hernia operation. Two more returns by ambulance this year, due to low blood pressure, where he collapsed twice, have also hopefully been resolved.

During all this time, as many of you will know, my fourteen year old granddaughter Emma, had some discomfort in her neck, when in May 2017, after lots of tests, scans and finally a biopsy, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Such a shock and of course all you want to do is take care of it yourself as a grandparent.  Emma had an operation in Glasgow to remove her thyroid, but it was found the cancer had travelled down to her aorta and on the back of one lung. Consequently she had to have radio-active iodine treatment which wasn’t pleasant but mercifully we found out in June this year that she was clear.

Whilst battling this Emma did a “Just Giving” for the Beatson Hospital in Glasgow and, with the help of her dad running in the London Marathon, and her sister and mum and others fund-raising in many ways, she was able to present them with a cheque of nearly £6,000.  One thousand of this was raised by her school in Dumfries and Emma was presented with an award for leadership, as she (at 14 years old), was asked to go into every year group assembly to talk to the pupils about her cancer and the hospital that needed their support for the treatment of other children and adults. So proud of her.


Emma will be taking thyroid tablets for the rest of her life and will have to have regular check-ups, but life goes on and the family have just been on a holiday where she and her sister had money given to them from a cancer charity for a treat, and they have had an amazing experience swimming with dolphins!

So not just a humungous “THANK YOU” to the NHS with its kindness, sympathy and fantastic knowledge and skill, but a BIG “Thank you” to many of you reading this who have kept Emma in your prayers and thoughts, and for your support to me through what has been the worst year of my life.