Allan Takes Aim Blog

Archive for October 2013


A brief personal message

As you know, due to illness my last blog was posted on 3 September. That it was posted at all was due to a colleague who for a few weeks had been posting my blogs to help ensure my blog would continue.

The blog being published today has been written and posted personally and I will continue to write one as long as I am able. So thanks to all who, during the past weeks, have continued to read it. 

Let me end by saying you will find out more by Googling the following website:


My Death has been t suspended Temporarily)

Today that I am sitting in front of my computer at home writing this blog would have seemed inconceivable to me at around 2.30am, Sunday 8th September. That it was inconceivable is due to the fact that I was lying on bed being looked after by paramedics who in the dead of night had transported me by ambulance from my home to Canberra Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Station.  That I am alive and not a lump of dead meat was due to the care they exercised on the way from home to hospital. I have now reached the conclusion that, although the words of Dr Samuel Johnson’s were used in a slightly different context, I agree with him that the thought of imminent death concentrates the mind wonderfully.

In a sense I concentrated my mind so that it became my personal mental Google as it recalled my past life. Although unable to speak properly many thoughts reverberated in my mind and made decisions that would never be acted on. Then, mercifully, unconsciousness arrived.

Many hours later I awoke in a bed in the hospital’s acute coronary care unit where I was ministered to by a team of nurses who, as the rest of that day went by, helped encourage me to believe that my life wasn’t about to end immediately. Other people, Cardiologists and consultants led by Chief Cardiologist, Dr Ren Tan, also played a major role in reinforcing that assurance. Indeed no praise is too much for him, his staff or the nursing staff.

And let me also say thanks to my colleagues and friends who, when they visited, helped restore my confidence that life still had something to offer albeit that it was likely to be of limited duration. I say that because only a few weeks before when, less dramatically, I had been hospitalised with another heart attack.

In a non-medical sense, however, I reserve the greatest praise for my wife Valerie and daughter Elizabeth who, between them, make life worth living.

There are many other actors in this story of life and death such as the Community Nurses who every morning come to my home to administer a life sustaining injection.  Of the many others, too many to mention, my colleagues in ACTAADS Inc (the ACT Association for Advancing Disabled Sport and Recreation) particularly Chairman Jeff House, Deputy Chairman Luke Jansen, Committee Members Ian Meikle, Michael Mecham, Mark O’Neill, and Liberal MLA, Steve Doszpot.,all of whom deserve my thanks  for giving up valuable time to visit and help keep my spirits up

And let me not forget Chuck Lundquist who, during my time in hospital and since my return home, appointed himself chauffer to me and my wife. Other people who need thanking also are Merylanne and Peter Baxter, Dinny Killen and neighbours.

In part I have written this tribute to emphasise that becoming a patient at Canberra hospital is not to be feared, a fear that some people may have acquired after reading letters to the editor about difficulties faced by loved relatives and friends. It is true, no doubt, that mistakes have been made at Canberra Hospital but I suspect they occur due to inadequate management and administration procedures as well as staffing and resource shortages.

That said let me make the point that doctors and staff are not miracle workers but people dedicated to delivering the best care with the tools at their disposal. They do their best but clear they will do even better that if the tools and administrative procedures they work with and to, are improved.

Being frank, I think Canberra’s public would be happier if much of the money being spent on public art was spent on Canberra Hospital.

Comment welcome.

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