We just want Curtis to have as much time with his kids as he can
Sister’s plea for carer help after devastating diagnosis
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