Liv­ing the dream of late hus­band

Staines Informer - - NEWS -

A WIDOW of an op­ti­cian is train­ing to be­come an op­tometrist in mem­ory of her hus­band.

Feltham Spec­savers’ store re­tail di­rec­tor Sel­cuk Arslan died at the age of 46 from an ag­gres­sive form of brain tu­mour at his home on Jan­uary 23.

His wife of 17 years, Christy, said she wants to train to one day take over from him as the store’s di­rec­tor in or­der to con­tinue and fol­low his dream.

“He was an amaz­ing per­son with a beau­ti­ful per­son­al­ity,” said the 38-year-old.

“My part­ner said it [Spec­savers] is the best com­pany he ever worked for and that made me re­alise I want to pur­sue my dream.

“Spec­savers has been re­ally help­ful and, hope­fully, when the time comes, they will ac­cept me to con­tinue with the flour­ish what my part­ner had built with his team.”

Christy and Sel­cuk met in Septem­ber 1999 when they were study­ing English in Wind­sor af­ter mov­ing to Bri­tain from Hol­land and Turkey, re­spec­tively.

“Ini­tially, when Sel­cuk went to English school he wasn’t go­ing to the same school I was go­ing to, but he got lost and ended up in the same class as me,” she said.

“We had been to­gether ever since.”

The whirl­wind re­la­tion­ship saw Sel­cuk pro­pose to Christy on her birth­day on Novem­ber 24 that year, and they wed just three months later. He held my hand and said to me, ‘look as ev­ery­thing is so per­fect and I’ve found the per­son I needed’... then he popped the ques­tion.”

But noth­ing would pre­pare the cou­ple for what would be­fall them 14 years later.

As they stopped in Ger­many on De­cem­ber 23 to see the Christ­mas mar­kets as they drove to Hol­land to see Christy’s family, Sel­cuk had his first seizure.

Hav­ing de­cided to carry on driv­ing to Hol­land, Sel­cuk suf­fered an­other fit and the pair, hop­ing it was epilepsy, flew back to Eng­land in the New Year for tests.

In Jan­uary an MRI con­firmed their worst fears as Sel­cuk was di­ag­nosed with Glioblas­toma brain can­cer.

“He was re­ally up­set, we were both re­ally up­set and think­ing that we can’t be­lieve it’s re­ally hap­pen­ing,” Christy said. “But we never gave up and re­ally thought there was al­ways a chance. Right up un­til the last mo­ment he was still fight­ing.”

An op­er­a­tion to re­move 96% of the tu­mour was suc­cess­ful and with chemo­ther­apy and ra­dio­ther­apy ini­tially halt­ing a re­growth, Sel­cuk de­cided to visit his family in Turkey dur­ing the sum­mer.

But while there, his im­mune sys­tem flat­tened and he con­tracted Lyme dis­ease, mean­ing he had to stop tak- ing his drugs and re­turned.

A sec­ond op­er­a­tion re­moved 80% of the tu­mour and the cou­ple still har­boured hopes he would make a full re­cov­ery.

By Au­gust, he was un­able to open his left eye and Sel­cuk’s health de­te­ri­o­rated rapidly un­til, in Jan­uary, he would suc­cumb to the dis­ease.

Fol­low­ing his death, friends and family ral­lied around Christy to raise £2,235 to grant Sel­cuk his last wish to be buried next to his Mother in Turkey.

“He was a very kind and a gen­tle man and is my true soul­mate,” said Christy. anti the can­cer tu­mour

“He touched so many lives when he passed away and I was so over­whelmed by the lots of amaz­ing mes­sages about him on his Face­book page.”

His former busi­ness part­ner, Russ Dawkins, who was left paral­ysed from the waist down af­ter a cycling ac­ci­dent dur­ing a char­ity ride in France in 2013, is an op­tometrist at Spec­savers in Staines, Egham and Feltham of more than 20 years.

He said: “All of us that knew him well are dev­as­tated at the ra­pid­ity that this fine man was snatched away from us. He is a loss to the world of old fash­ioned de­cency and hon­our, a de­scrip­tion that I keep com­ing back to.”

Sel­cuk Arslan, re­tail di­rec­tor at Feltham Spec­savers, with his wife Christy Arslan, 38.

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