As Rik’s long-term partner, I feel that I should share with you the current situation and I have chosen to make this statement on his blog, Rotherham Politics, in order that his friends, readers and commentators can be aware of the state of his health.
Rik fell ill on 19th March this year, a day before his 66th birthday, and was admitted to Rotherham General Hospital on this date. He was transferred to Doncaster Royal Infirmary on 23rd March and almost lost his life at that time – only an amputation of his right leg saved him. He was diagnosed with pancreatitis.
Rik is now confined to a wheelchair but his health has continued to deteriorate and he has spent further time under medical care. He has undergone several tests, including CT and PET scans, and has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and possibly pancreatic cancer.
Rik has been very brave during his illness, bearing each new development with stoicism and 6 months after his initial bout of illness, we are meeting with his consultant this week to learn the results of his latest tests and a prognosis. We have already been advised that Rik is too ill to treat.
This is very much a sad and worrying time for us as a family but Rik is doing his best to continue with his blog with our help. Rik is a formidable man, loyal to his friends and still driven by all that is wrong in politics.
I hope on Rik’s behalf, that you will bear with us and continue to use his blog as usual – this is what Rik would want.
I will provide further updates as I am able – thank you all for being there for us.