My husband Guy Rouquette
Guy, my husband, was diagnosed with MDS over 10 years ago at the age of 64. He also had a kidney removed around the same time. He died on December 31st 2019. I am very pleased to be invited to tell his story.
Guy was well until about 2 years ago when his health began to fail. He became Chairperson of the Bournemouth MDS meetings when they first began some years ago and became very knowledgeable about the illness.
Together with the other coordinators, Tess and Gordon, he organised talks from experts in the field and shared knowledge with the group during the Group discussions.
The sharing of experience and knowledge among the group at the beginning of the meetings has been really useful, especially for new people who can often be overwhelmed by their diagnosis. The discussions are generally very positive and informative about both MDS and peripheral issues.
Guy kept his accent and his french style of driving, but also his Gaelic charm and humour
I am not sure if Guy was an easy patient as he was inclined to “interview” his medical team and would always have his spreadsheets at the ready and discuss at great depth any decisions made. He certainly took an active role in his treatment but he learned to trust and respect Dr Killick and her team.
Guy was French but had lived in various places due to his work as a banker, Brazil, San Francisco, Texas, Brussels and London to name a few. He kept his accent and his french style of driving which was quite frankly terrifying but he also retained his Gaelic charm and humour. He ended up in Bournemouth when he met me and we married.
Despite his illness and during his illness Guy continued to pursue his normal activities. He was a keen tennis player and was in charge of the Tennis Committee.
He became a governor to the board at Bournemouth hospital and chaired the Steven James Practice Charity which helps those whose lives are affected by addiction. He worked hard at all these activities, taking his role seriously and contributing much to their success.
He also partook in unexpected activities. He joined a U3A movie making group, acting the main role in a film shown at the Shelley Theatre. Again through the U3A, Guy took up various subjects such as Latin, Philosophy, Introduction to Opera, Roman History and Politics.
Guy was kind, interested and interesting, generous, funny and clever
Guy was always interested in learning and had a somewhat unusual approach to the arts. He believed that if you could type you could play the piano – he couldn’t! but he learned to read music. We went ballroom dancing and didn’t really progress beyond beginners but we had years of fun trying. He was an academic at heart more comfortable with theory than practice.
As a person, Guy was kind, interested and interesting, generous, funny and clever. He had the great character asset of allowing people their own autonomy. He never dreamed of interfering in someone’s life or telling them what to do. He was honest, open and fair.
Guy had a tough year with hospital stays and treatment this last year. His son and myself were with him when he died very peacefully on New Year’s Eve. He will be much missed but his legacy is in the strength of the organisations he helped and the people who loved him.