Sandy dad puts pen to paper to cope with son’s life-limiting illness

Mark and Henry Campbell

Mark and Henry Campbell - Credit: Archant

A dad from Sandy has put pen to paper to cope with his son’s life-limiting illness.

Mark Campbell has launched his debut novel, Footsteps in the Snow, after being inspired to write by the experience of coping with the heartache that followed his son’s brain injury.

“My four-year-old son Henry was born the stronger identical twin at 1,700 grams, with his brother Jasper weighing only 850 grams,” said the 34-year-old.

“On his second day of life Henry held my finger.

“It was a wonderful moment in which we truly bonded.


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“Tragically though, Henry had a seizure that night and he hasn’t been able to hold my finger the same way since.

“When my wife Andrea and I were told about Henry’s brain injury I was numb. I remember thinking I should cry, but no tears came, not until later.

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“When the realisation hit me that Henry would never be able to talk, it was the hardest thing to accept.”

As Mark found himself struggling to come to terms with his son’s condition and his own depression, he sought support from Keech Hospice Care – which still cares for Henry to this day.

“I admit, we went to Keech, with apprehension,” said Mark. “But it has given Henry opportunities he wouldn’t have been able to enjoy otherwise.

“It has also enabled us to form and nurture relationships with other families facing similar difficulties.

“Without Keech, it would just be the four of us alone at home.”

Mark took his need for support further still though and felt compelled to write publicly.

“The book is a metaphor for loss and grief,” said Mark “It reflects my own thoughts, desires and the heartache that followed Henry’s brain injury.

“Henry is an absolutely wonderful and charming, little boy. I couldn’t be more proud of him. When he was first diagnosed, I was told parents of disabled children often find the relationship with their child very rewarding.

“In my hurt and anger at the time I couldn’t understand what this meant, but I now see how true it actually is.”

Footsteps in the Snow – which launched on Monday as part of Children’s Hospice Week – is available to download on Amazon Kindle for £3.99.

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