How Have I Cheated Death? A Short and Merry Life with Cystic Fibrosis Paperback – 30 Apr 2014
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Tim Wotton has an incredible spirit. This enjoyable tale easily puts life back into perspective. --Bronnie Ware, Author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.
About the Author
In May 2015, Tim Wotton proudly accepted the Best Achievement Award from The People's Book Prize. Tim was born in Southampton in 1971, Tim has lived in South London for the last twenty years and is married to Katie with a son Felix. A first-time book writer, Tim is a full-time communications manager and has played field hockey all his life. His eyes and heart have been opened by his health struggle with cystic fibrosis which has been a huge factor in his life, but not one that defines it.
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The ravages of CF, which causes mutations to genes regulating the production of mucus, sweat and digestive enzymes - some of the body's most primary functions, in other words - constitute an unremitting daily battle to simply stay alive. The author astounds us with the dizzying facts of his existence: the hundreds of pills, nebuliser and physiotherapy sessions week after week; the IV treatments, the groundhog chemist and hospital visits, month after month, year after year.
In the honesty of describing the challenges faced every day in going to work, providing and caring for his family, maintaining a social and once-glittering sporting life Tim really brings home the enormous cruelty of living with CF in wonderfully lucid, whimsical prose.
The inner strength required to meet the ravages of such hardship may be difficult to comprehend, but it's easy to see how the blogs that preceded the book, 'Countdown to 40' and 'Postcards from Earth', continue to number so many thousands of enthralled followers. Courage and charm combine to depict an heroic everyman who in defiance of CF's ruthlessness fights back with words both relentlessly witty and defiantly entertaining.
The book's pleasures are in truth a bitter-sweet treat. Tim's thoughts never wander far from the dozens of CF suffering friends who have succumbed to the disease even as he's managed to survive. His darkest moments, such as the Journey's End chapter, are often the most illuminating.
Tears are swiftly wiped away. With a film anaolgy here or chatty aside there, an extraordinary spirit refuses to allow despair to dwell. When caught without vital equipment, inducing a dangerous dip in glucose levels whilst out with his son, reduced to gasps before a rapid intake of soda and sweets, he admits he 'now believes his own hypo'; and so on in similar vein.
Tim Wotton has defied a desperate affliction for over forty years and is now one of the country's oldest CF survivers. As he says himself 'it's too early for goodbyes'. How Have I Cheated Death is a masterfully told story of life and love and it will be so enriching to read much, much more.
I recently went to watch a game of rugby at Harlequins with Tim and some other hockey pals and he was looking in fine fettle. The details of this book make me realise what it has taken to get him to this point and I hope his continued strength in the face of this adversity allows him to enjoy many more years with his lovely wife Kate and his gorgeous boy Felix.