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A message from R.W. Bro Stuart Edwards and his remarkable wife Val - 10 years on.


2014 was a very significant year for Stuart and me. On the last day of February Stuart and I were joyous, as I completed my final  fraction of Radiotherapy.  Then,  just a short while later, on 19th March, Stuart fell in the shower!   As  you know he suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him with an incomplete tetraplegia. He then spent nine months in hospital. This period was, at first, to overcome some life threatening health problems. Then after two long months,  to be rehabilitated from the spinal injury.


You may wonder why I am writing to you. Today March 19th,  marks the tenth anniversary of this event. An event which proved to be life changing for both Stuart and for me. I will explain why I am writing in greater detail. I can never express enough, my thanks,  to many friends who supported both me and through me, Stuart. This lasted during his nine months of continuous stay as an inpatient first at Stoke on Trent, then in Telford ITU and HDU finally being moved to the life saving /  life affirming Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at Oswestry in May. He  spent seven months in MCSI before being allowed home on 18th December.


A large part of the support that I received came from Stuart’s Masonic Brethren.  I know that this “support” was orchestrated and to a large extent co-ordinated by Mike Cole. It came  in many forms. Driving me from home to Gobowen and back - a round trip of 88 miles, sometimes eating a meal with me, sending me messages and flowers. Sometimes visits by brethren direct to see Stuart.  This support came mainly from Worcestershire Province but not exclusively. Since Staffordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire were also involved. During the 243 days that Stuart was in hospital there were only 8 days that I did not go to spend time with him. I drove myself on very many days, but I would guess that for more than a half of the visits I had company and as a consequence Stuart had company. I know that this was a tremendous help to him in coming to terms with what had happened. Also in aiding his mental and physical recovery.I should add that lines of contact were also maintained from both 86, St. James’s Street and from Duke Street.I venture to say that this tale illustrates the essence of Freemasonry.


Thus I send grateful thanks to all concerned.


Kindest regards and love to one and all.


Val

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