The next day we had another FaceTime call from Carol with news that he had been taken to hospital by ambulance that day.... Christmas Day! What they suspected may have been a stroke was ruled out but things weren't good. Boxing Day we learned that he had a brain tumour. It was devastating news. How helpless we feel talking on FaceTime with Carol and all of us trying not to cry! More tests and scans have since revealed spots on Barry's liver. Decisions on what will happen next are to be made in the next couple of days.
Barry is in hospital in Stoke on Trent as they were at their daughters place Christmas Day. Nb Winton's Folly is at Braunston. With Barry needing to be in hospital or near the hospital for a while it makes things a bit difficult having the boat so far away. We joked about Mick jumping on a plane to go and move the boat for them.
Salvation arrived by chance encounter. Carol bumped into Ray and Diane from nb Ferndale while she was at the shops in Stone. They were moored on the visitor moorings. In true style of boaters helping each other out, Ray offered to move the boat for them with the help of Gordon from nb Ewn Ha Cul. It's a trip of a good 6 days in freezing Winter weather. To complicate matters there is a Winter stoppage in their path from 5th January so a decision had to be made quickly. It's a big ask for folk to drop everything over the New Year period to spend long days cruising and locking and Carol didn't know what to do. The weather forecast wasn't too bad..... Carol would love to be sleeping in her own bed..... Barry wouldn't be worrying about the boat if it wasn't by itself in Braunston.... Aston Marina is familiar and there are people they know moored there.... it's close to their daughters place.... if the boat wasn't moved now it would be there until after the stoppage was over in early Feb. Carol made the decision that if Ray and Gordon were truly willing then she would be very grateful to accept their offer. A quick message and a quick discussion and a plan swung into action.
Carol wants to say a very heartfelt thank you to Ray and Gordon, and also to Roly from nb Klara (yes, that's where we got the name) who has offered to drive the guys to Braunston to start their journey. She wants everyone to know what a very kind and generous thing they're doing. We wish them a safe trip and hope all goes according to plan.
We can't quite believe that in such a short time it's gone from exciting plans for their trip to visit us next September to this! Devastating.