Arun and Margaret first met at a staff cricket match at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital, where Arun was a Paediatric Registrar and Margaret was a Nurse. They married in 1969 and had two children and three grandchildren.
In 1979, they moved from Sheffield to Crawley, having been asked to establish a new medical practice. Due to funding being withdrawn, Arun used his own funds for the initial capital. He created an integrated health centre, with consultation rooms and a small operating theatre. The MP for Crawley at the time, Nicholas Soames, described the centre as a “thing of the future, a marvellous thing” and Arun a “pioneer”.
Arun was the lead GP and Margaret was the Practice Manager. Their success gave Margaret and Arun many opportunities to travel and many wonderful experiences: “Arun gave me the opportunity to see the world”.
Arun enjoyed skiing, boating and motor racing, and him and Margaret had many exciting plans for more adventures together. This all changed when Arun was sadly diagnosed with dementia in 2020.
“I remember when Arun was diagnosed with dementia, I felt the bottom had fallen out of my world. I had lost my soul mate and best friend. Before Arun’s diagnosis our lives were full of fun and wonderful memories.”
Although Margaret was a nurse, and Arun was a GP, it still felt like entering the unknown. Arun’s symptoms left him in need of a wide range of support. They reached out to the Wayfinders at Sage House and Arun was offered a place in Day Breaks to give Margaret some respite.
After initially having a successful introduction to Day Breaks, Arun’s dementia deteriorated, further increasing his care needs. Unfortunately, dementia had meant Arun was unable to carry out many of the daily tasks we all take for granted. His mobility was declining, he needed support to bathe, dress, feed himself and was increasingly struggling to communicate- meaning he needed 1:1 care.
This was a devastating time for Margaret, as Arun loved coming to Sage House for Day Breaks and she was determined to give him the best possible quality of life. Their Wayfinder helped them to find care support that would still enable Arun to enjoy the bright and stimulating environment at Sage House. With support, Margaret continued to bring Arun to Sage House- attending over 300 activity sessions in 2022!
Arun sadly passed away in April 2023, shortly after his 86th birthday. Just before Arun passed away, Margaret reflected: “With the help and encouragement of everyone at Sage House Dementia Support, I have realised Arun is still Arun. His loving ways, bright eyes, wonderful smile, sense of humour and naughty ways are still there. The memories that are most precious and I will treasure forever are the ones after Arun was diagnosed with dementia.”
“When the time comes and I have to say goodbye to my soulmate and best friend, I hope I can put my hand on my heart and say I have given Arun everything and made every day happy.”