Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Brain op dad reaches milestone

Brain op dad reaches milestone

A dad refused a life saving brain op on the NHS is well on the way to a full recovery after his family raised the money to pay for the surgery.
Pete Nash, of Kings Langley, recently reached a milestone when he was given back his driving licence more than a year after the operation.

He had to stop driving after being diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) - a deadly cluster of tangled blood vessels that could have burst at any time.

The condition caused epileptic fits, severe headaches and short-term memory loss which meant Mr Nash could not work.

His family, including wife Julia, 43, twin sons Peter and Lewis, 18 and youngest son Benn, 16, lived in fear the cluster would burst, killing Mr Nash or leaving him paralysed.

However, Dacorum Primary Care Trust refused surgery, saying the operating risk outweighed the risk of doing nothing.

The Nash family launched a campaign called Pete's Fund to raise the cash - around £60,000 - through events and donations.

Mr Nash said: "Everyone has helped and that has been overwhelming."

He underwent several operations to prepare for the final major surgery in May last year and has made a speedy recovery.

The 40 year old said: "The doctors can't believe it. I left hospital after eight days.

"I'm looking to go back to work. I'm really happy about it."

Now things are looking up there's hope the couple won't have to sell the family home.

They had to put the property on the market after Mr Nash's critical illness insurance refused to cover mortgage repayments. "We have got to get ourselves back on track," said Mr Nash.

A Sky Real Lives documentary about Mr Nash - The Man Who Had Minutes to Live - has been such a hit that it will be shown on Sky One on Thursday, August 28 at 10pm. A follow up programme is being planned.

Mr Nash said: "People still recognise me. Sometimes I don't know if I know them or if it's because of the documentary."

Wife Julia has launched a career selling her artwork. She is writing a book about the family's struggle and has hopes of a feature film.

The pair have pledged to use Pete's Fund to help others in similar situations. Visit

This Saturday (August 9) a psychic fair is being held at Nash Mills Village Hall, Lower Road, Hemel Hempstead, to raise money for the fund.

It will run from 10am to 5pm and includes psychic artist Jerrold Donnington and individual spiritual readings.

Advanced tickets cost £35 (all inclusive) or £5 on the door and pay as you go. Find out more by calling 01923 250573.


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