The pleasures of Cyprus in a story of life and death
by Richard W. Brown
I was unwise to travel to Cyprus in 2008 particularly on my own. Cyprus is the only overseas destination I have visited more than once, in fact 2008 was my third visit. The reason for my return was not entirely unconnected to my daughters wedding which I arranged in 2000. She was married at Paphos Town Hall in November of that year and we stayed as a party at the Laura Beach Hotel where the reception was also held.
Having retired with ill health in 1996 I eventually suffered a Cardiac Arrest in August 1999 and survived by the skin of my teeth.
While laying helpless in CCU my step-daughter, to whom I was and still am devoted, told me in no uncertain terms that she wanted me to `be there to give her away' at her wedding. That was her way of telling me her intention.
Under those strict orders I had little choice but to recover, so forever the adventurer I arranged for her wedding in Cyprus down to the enth degree; it was a resounding success and the whole party stayed for two weeks enjoying Cyprus.
So then the seal was set for my love affair with Cyprus and my wife and I decided to re-visit in 2006 as a sort of recuperation for her as she had been receiving Chemotherapy for breast cancer for a number of months. Our visit was both relaxed and adventerous, a complete and satifying success.
As the eternal film maker I made up my mind to go back to Cyprus in 2008 and as usual booked very early. My wife declined to go this time as she had other commitments. During that year I began to have coronary problems which resulted in a stent insertion which did not go as planned.
Although I was not 100%, I convinced myself that I would be able to cope while abroad, after all was it not going to be relaxing? I had planned out my first week around the promise to enjoy every minute and use the second week to drive around parts of the island getting lost, meeting people,filming and endulging in the local fare.
The last day of the first week was a highlight when I discovered the `let your hair down' comedy act that was George's Fun Bus! I was certainly not feeling well on the day but as I had paid for the trip decided to try and enjoy it. Even through my feeling of being 3 or 4 degrees under par, the day was brilliant fun and ended up with a promise to do it again.
The day following I arranged all my equipment, had a very light breakfast and returned to my room. By this time I was far from well
and felt that I needed some help. I studied my detailed map of Paphos and set off to find the clinic I had singled out. Though I had difficulty finding it I eventually pulled into the car park and advised reception that I was feeling ill.
Within 15 minutes I was being examined by the GP who informed me that I must remain still and that I was having a heart attack. Despite his protestations I told him that I could not afford his private clinic. Eventually he gave in and asked his ambulance driver to take me to Paphos General.
I had barely reached the ambulance steps when I lost consciousness. For the next 10 days I was only aware of ghosts and apparitions until a modicum of reality, in the form of my wife and daughter appeared through the haze of nightmarish dreams brought me around for a while. I could not speak or control my movements and I was continually thirsty with an air tube down my throat.
I had suffered heart failure and was thought to be only hours from death. My wife and daughter had been summoned from England to be with me.
Needless to say I recovered but did not return home for nearly 6 weeks after which I was near helpless for some months.
I will be back in Cyorus (Paphos)Laura Beach on 12th October 2010 for two weeks with my wife this time...covered by extensive and costly insurance.
Why you may ask would I take such a risk and return? Well there are a number of reasons not least of which is that I love Cyprus and feel that there are still many things to see and do.
My intention also is to re-visit Paphos General Hospital... find the lady Doctor who apparently saved my life and thank her personally, the same to be said for the manager of the Hotel Veronica who looked after me so well for the week of recuperation at his hotel to thank him for his kindness.
Also to be at the hotel on 19th October to meet my daughter who is returning to Cyprus... her place of marriage, to join us both at the Laura Beach during our second week bringing with her my two grandsons who I adore. Neither boys have been on an aeroplane and neither also realize that they will be joining nanny and grandad who will be hiding in reception. ( I must film their faces when they see us) My eldest grandson Ryan will I am sure have the greatest day of his life on October 21st when he accompanies us on George's Fun Bus!
And finally I am returning to Cyprus because I did not finish my holiday last time. See you all there (Hopefully)