We just want Cur­tis to have as much time with his kids as he can

Sis­ter’s plea for carer help af­ter dev­as­tat­ing di­ag­no­sis

Hinckley Times - - NEWS - MAIA SNOW hinck­ley­times@reach­plc.com

SIX months ago, fa­ther of four Cur­tis Jac­ques, of Cosby, was happy and healthy. Then, in March, ev­ery­thing changed af­ter the 43-year-old started suf­fer­ing from headaches and got into a car crash af­ter he lost feel­ing in his legs while driv­ing.

While at Le­ices­ter Royal In­fir­mary he was told he had two stage four glioblas­tomas, a form of in­cur­able brain can­cer. He had six months to live.

“When he was first di­ag­nosed, the doc­tors said the tu­mours had only been there a cou­ple of months, but they were so ag­gres­sive he didn’t have long left,” said Cur­tis’s sis­ter, Nicole, 42, of Earl Shilton.

The tu­mours were press­ing on his brain and Cur­tis be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence per­son­al­ity changes. He was sec­tioned and spent four months with­out see­ing his chil­dren.

“When he was sec­tioned, he was at his low­est point,” said Nicole. “He couldn’t see his chil­dren – not that I would have wanted the chil­dren to see him there any­way.

“He just gave up. All he wanted to do was go home and he couldn’t un­der­stand why he was there.”

Cur­tis was even­tu­ally al­lowed to go home in Au­gust, but his can­cer wors­ened and he was told he might have only 24 hours to live.

For­tu­nately, his con­di­tion sta­bilised, but he was still not him­self. “He started to get a bit bet­ter, but still re­quired 24-hour staff to look af­ter him,” Nicole said.

“He was get­ting ready to die.”

The fam­ily was ad­vised by doc­tors to put a “do not re­sus­ci­tate” or­der on Cur­tis, be­cause if doc­tors brought him back, “he wouldn’t be him­self again”.

Cur­tis has since gone home, where he lives alone, with a carer com­ing to see him for 45 min­utes, three times a day.

His sis­ter helps where she can and tries to spend as much time as she can with him but she also has elderly par­ents to care for, as well as her own chil­dren.

Nicole says Cur­tis des­per­ately needs round-the­clock care. This means he spends al­most 18 hours a day alone and could end up in a care home, when all he wants is to spend his last weeks at home where he is com­fort­able.

Nicole added: “I’ve been fight­ing to get him round-the-clock care and he does have a carer, who is fan­tas­tic and tries to stay longer when she can, but he is still on his own most of the time.

“I can’t be there all the time, as much as I want to. We are wor­ried what he will do on his own, es­pe­cially at night.

“Some­times there are days where ev­ery­thing is al­most back to nor­mal, but since he came home it’s all been down­hill.

“He’s just been get­ting worse ev­ery day.”

Nicole has now set up a Go­fundme page to raise money for round-the­clock care for her brother.

She has set a goal of £5,000 to pay for a carer and has cur­rently raised al­most £600, and is hop­ing to or­gan­ise other fund- rais­ing events.

She knows it is not enough to pay for a full-time carer but hopes it will go a small way to get­ting her brother more time with one at home.

If the worst case sce­nario hap­pens, the money from the cam­paign will go to Cur­tis’s chil­dren, Olivia, 10, and Har­ri­son, eight, from his pre­vi­ous mar­riage. His other chil­dren, Luke, 16, and Jack, six months, from other re­la­tion­ships, would also get a share of the pro­ceeds.

“He just wants to have some time with his chil­dren be­fore he is gone. If I can do some­thing for him which gives him time with his chil­dren, then I will,” said Nicole.

Although Cur­tis has rough days, Nicole’s fouryear-old daugh­ter, Is­abelle, is on hand to cheer him up when she can.

“When­ever we are over there, she al­ways man­ages to cheer him up and make him laugh,” she said.

“She just talks to him as if noth­ing was wrong, and that helps Cur­tis a lot.

“She is the most over­con­fi­dent lit­tle girl and doesn’t let any­thing phase her.”

Cur­tis and his fam­ily are cur­rently de­cid­ing whether or not more chemo­ther­apy will help, be­cause it makes him so ill.

“I want to get him the care he needs, but ul­ti­mately I just want him to have more time with his kids, while he still can.”

Ex­plain­ing Cur­tis’s sec­tion­ing, a spokes­woman for Le­ices­ter­shire Part­ner­ship Trust said: “We have strin­gent pro­tec­tive pro­ce­dures in place to en­sure we act in their best in­ter­ests when ad­mit­ting some­one to one of our men­tal health wards.

“We have to fol­low a strict le­gal frame­work be­fore ad­mit­ting a pa­tient un­der Sec­tion 2 of the Men­tal Health Act.

“This re­quires an in­de­pen­dent as­sess­ment by an ap­proved men­tal health prac­ti­tioner from the lo­cal author­ity and two medics.

“Fol­low­ing ad­mis­sion we work closely with our Men­tal Health Act Of­fice to en­sure pa­tients un­der sec­tion are cared for ap­pro­pri­ately, in­clud­ing ad­vice on how they can ap­ply for a re­view of the sec­tion.

“Dur­ing their stay we work closely with fam­i­lies and the pa­tient, along with other rel­e­vant agencies, to start plan­ning for when they leave hospi­tal, in­clud­ing agree­ing a care plan which might in­clude the sup­port of a com­mu­nity-based ser­vice and/or their GP.”

A spokesman for Le­ices­ter­shire County Coun­cil said: “We have and will con­tinue to work closely with Mr Jac­ques, as well as work with NHS col­leagues, to en­sure that he has the right care and sup­port in place.

“We will be happy to meet with the fam­ily to dis­cuss any con­cerns they have.”

To do­nate to Cur­tis’ Go­fundme, visit his fundrais­ing page.

I want to get him the care he needs, but ul­ti­mately I just want him to have more time with his kids

Cur­tis with his sis­ter Nicole

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