Demise Of The Miracle Man

An old man who lives locally died today. He'd been ill for a very long time and had amazed doctors by surviving as long as he did. The author of these words was privileged enough to have many conversations with him over the last few months and was always struck by this individuals acceptance of his impending mortality.

He struggled on bravely, despite been diagnosed with lung cancer, an aneurysm on his brain, cirrhosis of the liver, crippling osteoporosis and suffering two severe stokes and three heart attacks. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, he was given just nine months to live. Yet despite ignoring all medical advice and continuing to smoke and drink rather heavily, he refused to die. He used to sit in the local public house with a pint of ale and a roll up cigarette, joking about "the aneurysm in my brain - just waiting to explode"

Whilst he should have been dying in a hospice, he continued to tend his allotment, drive his car, and laugh in the face of anxious district nurses who warned him to slow down. He was known to everyone who met him as 'The Miracle Man' and some thought him to be virtually immortal.

The sword of time will always win and The Miracle Man passed away peacefully today, after a long struggle, bravely born.

Our community continues to shrink. He had lived here all his life and watched as farming gave way to tourism, his wife died years ago and his children left for pastures new. No doubt his picturesque cottage will now be snapped up by a rich Londoner looking for a holiday home in the country. For us though, the cottage will always be haunted by memories of The Miracle Man, his passing leaves the world a slightly emptier place.

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