Young Mountaineering Dad Loses Leg After Cancer
We’ve heard of the huge challenge currently affecting Huw, a young father who has dedicated a great deal of his life so far to helping others. We would very much like to help him. Please can you help us to do that?
Huw had a challenging childhood marked by placement in the foster care system, which left him feeling isolated. He turned to nature, particularly woodlands, and this became his refuge, offering him the acceptance and sense of belonging he’d always missed. He decided to find a way of offering that same healing opportunity to other emotionally wounded children and young people.
He trained tirelessly for over 15 years to develop skills in child therapy, shamanism and rock climbing instruction and qualified to lead UK and international climbs.
My goal was to provide opportunities for children and young people to find their place they can call home and experience the healing power of the natural world.
Then, in June this year, Huw’s life took an unexpected turn when he was diagnosed with a Chondrosarcoma, a large bone tumour in his pelvis. Major surgery was required to remove the tumour but tragically went “horribly wrong”. The 8-hour planned surgery became 22 hours in the operating theatre; a move into the Intensive Care Unit; 6 weeks in an induced coma battling sepsis. multi-organ failure and constant temperature spikes and, eventually, a life-saving hemipelvectomy – the amputation of his leg at the pelvis.
Thankfully Huw is now cancer-free but his life has changed in ways he could never have imagined. This previously fit and active man has suffered significant muscle wastage as a result of the coma and he is now bed bound and physically immobile. He has been transferred to a hospital specialising in physical rehabilitation where he has been for nearly 4 months. Frustratingly for such an independent man, so committed to helping others, there is no end date in sight for his return to home and family.
Since losing my leg, I’ve experienced moments of grief for the life I once knew and immense gratitude for a second chance to be a father and partner.
Please can you help
Before the amputation, Huw was self-employed and his main source of income has been lost. As well as supporting Huw his partner, Jess, has taken on the full-time care of their 4-year old daughter, Ada, so is unable to work.
He is deeply grateful to family, friends and the community who have offered incredible support but sadly it’s not enough to cover the costs of living expenses, vital home modifications, NHS treatment to improve independence and travel expenses to and from the specialist hospital, which is 100 miles away from his home. With huge reluctance this fiercely independent man, who previously always handled home improvement and maintenance himself, now finds himself in the position of having to ask others for help.
This is a personal story about a situation that could happen to any one of us and a demonstration of how life can throw a curveball when you least expect it. Please can you help Huw, who has dedicated so much of his life to helping others, to get out of hospital and regain his independence and quality of life?
How you can help
You will find a link to a GoFundMe page set up by Huw’s sisters at the bottom of this post. There you can donate and read Huw’s story in his own words. It’s a story of huge courage and determination and humbling in the gratitude he feels despite what he’s been through. Something of an inspiration for us all.
Please do donate if you can. Every contribution will help and will be very gratefully received.
Links: (will open in new tabs)
- GoFundMe Page: Young Mountaineering Dad loses Leg after Cancer