Father with cancer pleads with nation to take lockdown more seriously
Father, 52, with terminal cancer pleads with the nation to take coronavirus lockdown more seriously so he can enjoy final adventure with his wife and children before he dies
- Simon Cowls, 52, from Yelverton in Devon, is in the high risk group for COVID-19
- Before the virus, he and his wife Ali knew their time together was already limited
- Now it is under greater threat and he wants Britons to take lockdown seriously
- He is currently living in a camper van outside his house while his wife isolates
- After that the couple will have to remain in isolation for three months at least
A father with terminal cancer is urging Britons to take the lockdown more seriously – so that he can spend quality time with his wife and family before he dies.
Simon Cowls, 52, from Yelverton, Devon, is currently on antibody treatment and is in the highest risk group from coronavirus complications due to his terminal cancer.
He and his wife Ali know their time together is limited and they planned to set off this month on a last big adventure together in a camper van – until COVID-19 put an end to their plans.
The severity of Mr Cowls’ condition means that he has now been forced to self-isolate even from his own wife. They online kiss each other goodnight by Skype.
Simon Cowls, 52, from Yelverton, Devon, is currently on antibody treatment and is in the highest risk group from coronavirus complications due to his terminal cancer (he is pictured with his wife Ali)
Mr Cowls and his wife Ali know their time together is limited and they planned to set off this month on a last big adventure together in a camper van – until COVID-19 put an end to their plans (Mr Cowls is pictured outside his camper van)
He is now living in the van outside their home on the edge of Dartmoor while Ali – who is also his carer – is in the middle of two weeks’ strict isolation in the house before they are allowed to see each other again. After that the couple will have to remain in isolation for three months at least.
All Mr Cowls wants is for the pandemic to end as quickly as possible so that he can have some normal life, see his children again and for the couple to fulfil their dream of travelling in their van.
The couple are both frustrated that people are not taking the guidelines seriously enough and Ali was shocked when she saw hundreds of day-trippers parked in cars near their Dartmoor home on her last day out to buy essential supplies before lockdown.
One of Mr Cowls’ sons lives in Belgium and flew home to see his father – but because Mr Cowls has been classed as high risk during COVID-19 he is not allowed to see anybody who has not been in total isolation for 14 days.
Now his son is grounded and unable to fly back to Belgium.
Despite the horrendous situation, Mr Cowls has amazed people with his upbeat attitude throughout four years of struggling to beat cancer (he is pictured in hospital receiving treatment)
Another 569 deaths have been declared in the UK today, taking the total death toll to 2,921
Despite the horrendous situation, Mr Cowls has amazed people with his upbeat attitude throughout four years of struggling to beat cancer.
He is still making funny videos on Facebook to make others laugh in the face of the coronavirus pandemic: ‘It’s my way of dealing with life despite all the adversity I’m facing.’
And he admitted that his whole outlook on life has changed: ‘I hear other people saying ‘This time next year’. There is no this time next year for me.
‘Every single day is precious. I literally live one day at a time.
‘When you are faced with your own mortality the most simple things are the most meaningful – to hear the birds in the morning. That’s worth more than any amount of money in the bank.
‘Having time with my wife, my children, my cats: that’s everything. I cherish every single second.’
All Mr Cowls (pictured with his wife Ali) wants is for the pandemic to end as quickly as possible so that he can have some normal life, see his children again and for the couple to fulfil their dream of travelling in their van
Now the couple are counting every moment until Ali’s two week isolation is over and they can be together again.
‘We’ve got one week to go now. That’s going to be amazing,’ Simon said.
Even the ordinary practicalities of life are difficult for the couple who cannot get out to buy food or for vital prescriptions.
Mr Cowls says: ‘Despite being on the government’s extremely vulnerable list we are still struggling. It’s not about money. We are not poor.
We cannot get an online delivery. We have received one of Boris’ food parcels – but if the online shopping system was working we wouldn’t need that.
‘Our GP tells us that people are stockpiling their prescriptions. It all adds to the anxiety.
‘I don’t know if people think they are putting two fingers up to the system or the government – but they are actually putting two fingers up to the NHS, to their parents, their grandparents and people like me.’
Mr Cowls said: ‘It’s terrible instead of travelling around making memories in our van I am living in it and it’s bloody freezing which is obviously a worry as I’m not exactly in the best of health.’
Ali has recently retired from her career working at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital to be Mr Cowl’s carer. The two still hope to go on their trip once the pandemic is over (pictured, their camper van)
The pandemic has amplified the stress of being terminally ill, stripping away the line of support the NHS provided as surgeries close, resources stretch and supplies run low.
‘Suddenly you feel vulnerable, you feel isolated,’ he said.
Mr Cowls had been undergoing chemotherapy but reacted badly to the treatment.
He said: ‘I had a choice to go back on chemo or not to have the treatment and let the cancer grow.
‘I can’t win. I’m going to die either way. So we decided to take a break and go travelling – but then this coronavirus pandemic started.’
Ali made a video of herself on Facebook saying: ‘I just wish you lot would get off the Moors.
Ali said: ‘I am social isolating for one reason – to protect my husband. He’s got stage four bowel cancer that has spread and that we know is going to kill him and I am trying to protect him as much as I can.
‘In what could be his last year of living, we were going to do things, and now we are not able to because of this virus.
‘How are people not getting this message?
‘We plan to go away and make memories and see the kids.’
Ali has recently retired from her career working at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital to be Mr Cowl’s carer.
Source: Read Full Article