My name is Gavin Darvell. I'm 31 years old and I'm married with 4 children and 3 grandchildren. I work for Royal Mail as a full time postman and also work as a retained firefighter for Bucks Fire & Rescue. On the 15th October 2012 my life changed dramatically when my dad collapsed while he was on the phone to his GP.
His GP was explaining he had to go for a blood transfusion after blood tests he had earlier. His wife Elaine (my 2nd mum) rang for an ambulance, where medics had to make him comfortable before taking him to hospital. When I arrived at the hospital we were taken to a side room and they explained they had made him comfortable and were running tests.
Family and close friends started to arrive, we were all in shock of what had happened. The doctor came back sometime later and explained that my dad had 3 bleeds on the brain - unknown to us he had Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The doctor said they had spoken to John Radcliffe but they couldnt operate as his platelet count was 6 and his blood wouldn't clot. He was made comfortable for the night and we said goodnight to return the following day.
On Tuesday 16th October 2012 we returned to the hospital and were given the devastating news there was nothing they could do for my dad. Family and friends had time to say goodbye and share stories about my dad. They explained they would be taking the breathing tube out and couldn't give a time when he would fall asleep. At 13:40, less than 24 hours after he collapsed, he had been taken from us.
This is shocking a healthy, strong and fit man of 60 can be taken from us so suddenly.
After the trauma of losing my dad to a disease that I knew nothing about I couldn't sit back and see families go through the tragedy that I went through. I know cures are a long way off, but hopefully the money I raise will help towards a cure for a disease that can take someone's life in less than 24 hours like my Dad. I'm now hoping to do something every year around the anniversary of my dad for this charity, and hopefully bring happiness to other people's families.
Thank you for reading my story and if you can donate anything maybe we can prevent this happening to a member of someone else's family. Please visit my Virgin Money Giving page and help me to achieve my fundraising target of £1000.