How I Remember, Remember the 5th November

It is the 5th of November once again, and whilst the past few days have been celebratory, feeling chuffed about my audiobook business (www.ladbrokeaudio.com) surviving its first year, the time has come once again to look back and mourn the death of my best friend, Pete Barnes.  He died, 9 years ago today, aged just 30, of a series of strokes.  I’ve written a lot about this before, so won’t bore you with it all again.  Suffice to say, he was my best friend (of 16 years) as well as my housemate, my brother-in-arms and the geekiest guy I knew.  He was fit and healthy. He had no obvious signs of an impending stroke.  We were playing a computer game on a Sunday afternoon and then…BANG…my best bud was dead. Gone. Never to hear him speak again.  9 years hasn’t lessened the pain, I still grieve everyday, still feel guilt every minute and still miss him every second.  So many great and geeky things have happened to me in the past 9 years, and while I know I had Pete with me in spirit, boy do I wish he’d been there in reality.

So here’s to Pete Barnes…a true top chap.  Taken too soon, but a joy to have known.

Now here’s the thing…stroke can affect ANYBODY!  Not just the old or unwell.  Many younger people suffer from strokes and you need to know the signs.  I didn’t and I blame myself for not getting him the medical help he needed (as well as blaming those at the hospital who were unable/unwilling/untrained to do what was needed as soon as possible).  This doesn’t have to happen to anyone else.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, watch this video from the Stroke Association and learn about the FAST test…it really won’t take too much of your time and may save a life one day.

Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for taking the time to watch the video and learn the FAST test.  Pete was my best friend, my brother in life and my continued inspiration.  He is 9 years gone, but forever here. I miss you, mate.

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