Campaign for the Smith family
Weʼre raising £15,000 to help support MHS family Barry, Anna, Hugo and Honor Smith through this difficult time and to help them create memories.
As massive Harry Potter fans, Honor has asked us to include this quote:
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on a light." Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter).
Anna, Hugo and Honor are keen that any messages of support for Barry are received as soon as possible whilst he is still in a position to appreciate your love and able to understand what knowing him has meant to you. We would encourage you to write a message as we plan to include these messages as they arrive in a series of small scrapbooks.
We totally understand that not everyone is in a position to help financially especially at such difficult times and if this is the case please do email Joanna with your personal messages, as these will mean so much to the family, and we will ensure they are added into the scrapbook. Scroll down to the bottom for Joanna's email address.
Barry has worked caring for others in Orthopaedics and Trauma for nearly 40 years, but now he is the person in desperate need of medical help and the support of family and friends.
In early January 2020, following the extremely sudden onset of problems with speech, Barry’s GP sent him for a brain scan as a precaution. The results of this investigation were devastating and life changing to Barry and all those close to him. The scan revealed he had a fast growing, highly aggressive malignant brain tumour called Glioblastoma Multiform (Grade 4.) The prognosis that without surgery, Barry, a devoted husband and Dad to two dependent children, only had 2 months to live, was almost too much to comprehend for him and those close to him.
In early February Barry underwent waking brain surgery at Atkinson Morley within St Georges hospital, to remove as much of the tumour as possible. He was a good candidate for this type of surgery, primarily because, the tumour was sited in the language centre of the brain, and his being conscious ensured the best chance of minimising further damage. In addition, his many years assisting in orthopaedic surgery in theatre, meant he was in far more familiar territory than many patients. The amazing skills of Barry’s surgical team enabled all visible tumour to be removed; a far better result than predicted. He has since undergone intensive radiotherapy and continues with chemotherapy in an attempt to prolong his life. Unfortunately, this type of brain tumour is not curable and all treatment can only buy extra time for Barry with his wife Anna and the two children he loves so much - Hugo and Honor.
If you are reading this, you may be able to imagine the devastating impact this has had on a young family, who have so much love for each other and everything to live for. Upon diagnosis, Barry’s doctors told him to make the most of every day and that was certainly his intention, but nobody could have predicted that Covid 19 would make his ability to do so, much more difficult. Like any devoted Dad, Barry’s biggest concern is not for himself but, for his children’s future welfare and his family’s financial and emotional security. One of the many cruel realities of having a brain tumour, is that there is rarely time to prepare for the sudden financial strain placed on the sufferer and their family. Barry went from working full time as a highly skilled health professional to having to survive without work and needing his wife Anna to care for him.
Barry has spent his entire working life helping others and took pride in his ability to do so. He has always been somebody to be relied on in a crisis and his dignified acceptance of his diagnosis has underlined this. Like the vast majority of his colleagues in the NHS and health care, he has worked many hundreds of additional hours and always gone the extra mile for the most vulnerable patients or colleagues. Barry’s focus now, is to make the most of the time he has with his family and create good memories that will last. Most important to him, is to ensure that his children’s future is not defined and limited by his diagnosis.