This wasn’t supposed to be the posting today. Far from it.
Those of you who regularly make your way to the Bagging Area, will recognise the young man in the photo.
He’s Isaac, and he’s the son of Adam, the brains behind one of the best and longest running blogs out there.
Adam has become a very dear and close friend of mine over recent years, initially through the blog but increasingly via other social media channels, through which I’ve got to know his wife and his two children.
Adam has used his blog over the years to talk about his family, referencing some of the most significant happenings such as birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and graduations. He’s also let us in on Isaac’s story, and how he came battling into the world in November 1998, his birth being complicated and difficult, and having to be taken immediately to an intensive care unit. As Adam wrote just over a week ago, in a blog post celebrating Isaac’s 23rd birthday,
“Although I don’t think you can ever be ready for the impact that becoming a parent has on your life we certainly weren’t expecting what we got- serious unknown genetic illness, frequent hospitalisation in his early years, deafness, serious learning difficulties, bone marrow transplants, operations and much more.”
Adam never wanted you to feel sorry for him and his family for the fact that Isaac suffered many illnesses throughout his childhood. He never shied away from the seriousness of his son’s circumstances but at the same time he, and the rest of the family, made sure Isaac was always involved in every way possible in everyday activities. It was a genuine joy to see the regular updates and photos on Facebook in which the four of them were out and about doing something or other that was not only making them happy, but putting a smile on the faces of the hundreds of friends.
The threat of COVID was a serious one given that Isaac’s immune system was, to all intent and purposes, non-existent. The family made sure every possible precaution was taken at all times, never ever mingling in any sort of indoor social gathering. Isaac was shielded from strangers, understandably so, and it was sad and personally disappointing that I was unable to meet him and say hello during that trip down to Manchester at the beginning of last month. Adam did come along, making a huge effort when he had a heavy workload to deal with, and met up with myself and Aldo, doing so at an outdoor venue so that, again, any potential risk of infections being passed on to Isaac was minimised. Much of the chat over a few drinks was about how the family were doing and how they all were adjusting to Issac’s 18-year-old sister having moved recently to Liverpool to begin university, proudly following in the footsteps of her dad a generation ago.
Isaac celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday 23 November because, as Adam wrote on his blog, Isaac loves a birthday and Isaac loves a party.
The following day, Isaac tested positive for COVID. Adam said it wasn’t good in that Isaac was unwell, coughing, with a temperature, and he was grumpy. The course of action was to put him on emergency antibiotics with the hope they would work and keep him out of hospital.
Somehow, Adam found the time and the strength to give me updates on a daily basis. The first 24 hours saw no change, but things weren’t getting any worse with the family doing their very best to nurse him through the illness. Things, however, took a turn for the worse at the weekend, and with concerns about his oxygen levels, Isaac was taken by ambulance to hospital last Saturday evening.
The best possible medical care and attention was provided, but sadly and tragically, Isaac passed away in hospital on Tuesday 30 November, surrounded by his family.
There have, over the past fifteen years or so, been a number of incredibly sad and tragic events affecting people who are part of what I believe is a wide and inclusive TVV community. The sympathies expressed on all occasions have been wide-ranging and heartfelt, and I know, from personal experience, that they have been a great source of comfort.
Today is another of those very sad occasions when words, at the moment, aren’t enough. Very few of us can begin to imagine what Adam and his family are going through right now. It is something no parent ever wants to contemplate, far less have to face up to.
Isaac was an incredible and wonderful human being, who gave as much love back as he received. He’ll be missed, but he’ll never be forgotten. R.I.P.