Jay’s story began one Sunday afternoon in late June 2018. Whilst driving into London with his family in tow, Jay clipped a bollard, nothing serious but something didn’t seem right with his perception of space. Unbeknown to him, he had lost some of his peripheral vision. Several other episodes occurred around the home, including bumping into things, confusion and his general cognitive functioning being affected. This was not like Jay as he was otherwise a fit and healthy 55-year-old, but he knew something was wrong. Jay went to see his GP.
Following a few weeks of investigations and referrals, Jay finally found himself sat with Naina, his wife and soul mate of 27 years and her brother in law, Rob, with a Neuro-Oncologist at St Georges Hospital. Nothing could have prepared them for what they were just about to be told. A softly spoken Consultant informed Jay that the previously found shadow on his brain was in fact a Glioblastoma Multiforme, the most severe and aggressive type of brain tumour. Whilst he didn’t say what the prognosis would be, when asked, he told them it would not be helpful to know at that point. There were no words. Jay and Naina hugged each other and were left alone in the room in each other’s arms to try and make sense of the bombshell that had just been dropped onto them.
That afternoon, Jay, Naina and Rob rolled up their sleeves and were on a mission! Jay was an optimist and a fighter and no way was he going to be defeated by this ‘thing in his head!’ He dived straight into getting fitter by taking on a personal trainer and exercising daily on his bike trainer at home, knowing that this would put him in good stead for the journey ahead. Naina in the meantime made sure that she was looking after Jay, supporting him under the guidance of the medics and Rob who spent much of his time researching, speaking to people up and down the country and across the world, searching for answers.
A week after the diagnosis and the morning of his operation, Jay kissed his beloved boys, Rahul and Krishan and told them that all their lives were about to change. He reassured them, told them not to worry as he would be home soon and fighting fit! A few hours later he was in theatre. The tumour was removed, the surgery was a success. This was followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy and a whole raft of alternative therapies including supplements and a change of diet, which he believed could only help boost his immunity. For nine months, Jay’s treatment was going well, but then in May the following year he was told that the Cancer had returned and was spreading.
Jay fought hard and refused to give in. Despite this, his families and the doctor’s best efforts, Jay’s condition deteriorated.
Over the next few months, Jay knew what was happening to him. Despite the unspoken sadness, Naina and Jay never spoke about death, only love. There were three things Jay never stopped saying until his last few days when he could no longer speak. The first being ‘I love you’ to his wife and to his family, the second, thanking everyone around him for everything they were doing for him and the third, telling himself, ‘C’mon Jayesh, you can do this, c’mon Jayesh…!’
Not once did he ever ask, ‘Why me?’ The selfless person that he was, he thought of others right until the end. There was so much more he wanted to do and Jay was all about helping others. Even when in hospital, waiting to undergo his own treatment, Jay talked about his upset at seeing people suffer and how he wished he could help them. He would say how he felt for those who attended their appointments unaccompanied and couldn’t imagine being alone at this time. He realised he was fortunate and had all the love and support of everyone around him. Jay told Naina he had no regrets and that he had lived a fulfilled life with her and the boys. He told her that if he could do it all again, he wouldn’t change a thing.
To those that knew him Jay was an honest, loving, gentle and ‘one of a kind’ human being with a pure soul. A loving husband, father, son, brother, friend and much more. Jay believed in ‘doing the right thing…even when no-one was looking!’ This is how he lived his life. This simple and caring approach is something we hope will live on in those who were fortunate enough to know and love him. This is Jay’s legacy.