The man in the picture is Jem. A keen competitive moto-cross rider and director of a transport firm, Jem was a strong, fit, dedicated and much loved family man.
Jem was just 37 when he died shortly after this picture was taken, leaving Karen to bring up their two young children alone.
Following a routine vasectomy, Jem had returned to work on the Monday, but became progressively unwell with what he thought was ‘flu. By Thursday he was vomiting and feverish, and uncharacteristically took himself to bed. Karen called the family doctor, who recognised a post-surgical infection and prescribed antibiotics.
But it was already too late. The infection was out of control and standard antibiotics were not enough. That Saturday morning, eight days after the operation, Jem woke up delirious, with blue lips and uncontrollable diarrhoea.
Karen called an ambulance, uttering soothing words as her partner of 20 years was taken away, while she followed behind with his nightclothes. It was to be the last time she spoke to him. By the time she arrived at the hospital she was told her husband had suffered a massive heart attack because of sepsis.
Dr Daniels, one of our Trustees, still remembers telling Karen that Jem would not be coming home as though it were yesterday