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My Most Recent Challenge (Read 423 times)
Terrence Allen
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RC Flyer

Posts: 38
My Most Recent Challenge
01/08/18 at 20:58:51
     Hello to all...this is not a post relating to any R/C Model Aircraft flying activity but rather more of a 'human' story relating to myself. I've been dealing with something recently and felt I owed it to people in the club who know me to inform them. Over the years since my affiliation with the 'HVRCF' began, so many fellow modelers have extended to me so many kindnesses in so many ways that I didn't want people to feel offended that I went through what I'm going through only to ask me why in the world I didn't inform them sooner. So I have chosen out club's Forum to offer those interested parties some details. In order to provide sufficient detail here, I have exceeded the Forum's character limit of 5500 and so I have divided the post into two separate ones to accommodate this limitation. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
     Some may recall that I had planned to visit my family in southeast Australia for a couple of months between mid-November and mid-January of this year. I was a healthy guy when I boarded the first leg of this long flight back on November 16 having exercised vigorously only two days prior to my departure. The first week with my family was great and full of fun but I began to feel ill before the week even ended. Eventually, I became quite sick with a temperature that escalated to something north of 105 degrees with heavy sweating, shivering, coughing up buckets of phlegm, vomiting, and my breathing had morphed into short, shallow, rapid panting. My family took me to the emergency department of the local public hospital. The attending physician arranged immediately for a chest X-ray and came back asking me if I wanted to hear the results in private but I assured him that my family (who was sitting right beside me laying on a gurney) was to hear the same news as myself. He told me that he was very sorry to inform me that, while they would require further tests to confirm a definitive diagnosis, the chest X-ray revealed the likelihood that both my lung lobes had what appeared like multiple malignant, cancerous tumors in a very advanced state. Having my family right there to hear such news was one of, if not the worst experiences of my life to date...they were absolutely crushed. I was admitted immediately and assigned to a private room, but not before someone from their accounting office asked me to sign a form acknowledging that, as a non-citizen of Australia, I was responsible for the cost of hospital care which ran somewhere between five and six thousand dollars per day. I signed it of course...I was desperate. Because I was pretty healthy before leaving and any form of travel health insurance with reasonable benefits for a man of my age was priced at almost two thirds the cost of my return airfare, I elected to go without it.
     Multiple tests were performed including blood work several times a day, a CT scan, cardiac ultrasound and a bronchoscopy procedure (where a miniature camera was inserted down my throat and into my lungs) but, by week's end, nothing definitive was diagnosed. They fed me a 'cocktail' of various antibiotics administered intravenously and managed at least to stabilize my condition. I was still coughing with intense pain in my chest and could barely sit up in bed but at least my blood pressure, pulse, body temperature and blood/oxygen levels were all remaining in the normal range. The level of health care provided me in that country was at least the equal or better than anything one could expect to receive anywhere in the caring and professional. In order to stem the flow of 'red ink', they decided to release me into the care of my family just a couple of days before Christmas day such that I would convalesce at home. Unfortunately, matters only worsened. By the third day, I decided with my family that I really only had two options and one was to return to hospital there or change my travel arrangement and 'beat feet' back to Canada and that is what I decided to do. Because we were in the middle of the holiday reason, this change in my departure date cost about as much again as my entire return airfare cost in the first place but we all felt that I needed to bite the bullet on this decision.
     The flight home from Sydney through LAX and on to Toronto was difficult in the extreme for me. I had to put on a brave face and act as normal as possible so that no one would find out just how sick I was and deny me further air travel or even, in the worst case scenario, divert the flight to another destination because of me. I kept myself concealed under multiple layers of blankets supplied by aircrew staff so they wouldn't notice that I was drenched in sweat, shivering and breathing unnaturally. By the time I reached Toronto I was so sick and weak and tired that I could barely walk. A friend picked me up, brought me home and I crashed for about twenty-two hours after which I took a cab to the local hospital armed with all the medical documents and medications I was provided by the Australian hospital. They admitted me immediately and began further testing which included multiple CT scans and finally a procedure where a long, thick needle was inserted deep into my left lung from underneath my left arm into which a second needle was inserted so they could excise a tissue sample. This was then sent off to a special laboratory in Ottawa for analysis and I was released to return home to await their call to come back in and that's where I am right now.
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Re: My Most Recent Challenge
Reply #1 - 05/09/18 at 06:43:40
I am very sorry to advise that Terrence has passed away.  There will be a service at St. Philips Anglican Church Parish Hall Saturday May 12, 2018 at 12:00 noon.  Please note this service will be at the Parish Hall not the church itself.  The church is located at 31 St. Phillips Road, Etobicoke, ON M9P2N7 and the Parish Hall is connected by a pathway through the edge of the cemetery at the corner of Dixon Road and Inchcliffe Crescent.  Please come to the service if able to help celebrate Terrence's life.  
I am glad Terrence was able to make to our last club meeting of the season.  I think he enjoyed the evening and his presence there may help us to remember him.
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Paul McMillan
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