From my Mum and Dad.

Dear Russ,
We are back where we were a year ago, in White Rock, B.C. when we had the phone call from Alwyn which changed all our lives.
Our memories of that day are probably the most ” hazy” of any day in our lives. We have virtually no recollection of the drive back to Seattle. Alwyn was amazing inasmuch that he was able to book us on to an emergency flight via Iceland to Heathrow in spite of everything that was happening around him. While we were en route to HR he tried desperately to get us a flight to any of the S. Of France airports, but to no avail. On arrival in HR we caught the first available Nat. Express coach to Newport and then a taxi home. Within an hour we were on the road to Dover, crossing the Channel at 11 p.m. We took two blankets with us and stopped for 30 mins. , our first sleep for three days.
All the way down Alwyn and Stu were ringing and texting, “”How much longer, how far away are you .?” When we got to the hospital car park, Stu was waiting,and we ran to the ward, not knowing if you were still with us.
All we can remember then were “tears”. We stayed in Toulon for 3 weeks,went home for10 days and then came back again so that Dani could have a break. Our memories of Toulon were quite desperate, but also tempered with the wonderful memories of all those lovely people who came to see you. Having our car turned out to be a bonus because it meant that we could ship so many back and fore to airport , station etc..
A year on so much has changed for the good and the comments of your physio in the last blog are no surprise to us. Onwards and upwards, just think where you are going to be a year from now .
All my love, Dad

The phone call from Alwyn was the stuff made from nightmares. As I listened to his words in total disbelief, our world collapsed around us. The unthinkable had really happened to our beautiful, son. It just was not possible. That journey down to Toulon was the longest journey , the most painful journey of our lives. We did not know whether you would be alive or dead when we finally reached you. The pressure to reach you was intolerable and when we finally were by your side , you were still here , in a coma and hanging on by a thread so fine that it was invisible, but , still with us.
The support of Alwyn and Stuart , our joint families and your amazing , remarkable friends lifted us and sustained us over the weeks ahead in Toulon. We willed you to live, to survive , to come back to us. I talked to you about your life and the love that we had for you. The first sign of a response was tear that ran down your cheek whist you were still in a coma. Later, you squeezed my hand. It was the gentlest squeeze but it was real. I rushed out to find a doctor who, in disbelief came back with me to witness another squeeze of my hand. A small sign, a massive miracle. You were coming back to us.
The rest you know , the rest is history.

Your progress has been phenomenal. You will always go from strength to strength .
All my love
Mum xxxxxxxxxx

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