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Grieving family of John Caddy in fight for pancreatitis cure

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

  • MUCH-LOVED: John Caddy, a "true Cornishman", who has died aged 70.

Comments (6)

A FAMILY has vowed to raise funds until a cure is found for a disease which took the life of a much-loved community figure and "true Cornishman".

Popular John Caddy died of severe acute pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, earlier this month – a disease from which his family and hospital doctors expected he would recover.

The healthy dad of two and grandfather, of Emlyn Field, collapsed suddenly on January 2.

John, a volunteer with the Charlestown National Coastguard Institution and life member of Charlestown Rowing Club, spent three weeks in an induced coma at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, during which time his 70th birthday, on January 9, passed.

His family kept a bedside vigil and all doctors could do was stabilise his organs with kidney dialysis, life support and a cocktail of medication. John began to recover but his family were dealt a heart-wrenching loss when, on February 2, John lost his fight.

John's devastated widow Jean, 69, said he was a hardworking, softly spoken and respected "true Cornishman" who was devoted to his family, friends and the sea.

She said: "He was very committed to everything he did. Once he started something, he carried it through. He didn't think he was anything special, he was just John. Everything he did was to help other people.

"Everybody loved him and nobody ever had a bad word to say about John, I think to be able to leave this world with people thinking that much of you, well that's pretty good."

More than 400 people attended his funeral at St Paul's Church, Charlestown.

In the wake of the tragedy, John's family has pledged to help others struck down by the disease in his memory.

Medical professionals do not know exactly what triggers the swelling in the pancreas cells and to date nothing has been found to stop the inflammation.

The family's massive fundraising campaign will initially aim to raise £50,000 for the charity Core, which is funding medical research into the illness and its treatment.

In the past week the fund has topped more than £2,000.

Daughter Michelle Hume, 44, said: "I cannot believe that we can put a man on the moon but we cannot treat this."

The family also hopes its efforts will raise awareness of the condition.

Jean said: "If we can do this it will be a lasting legacy to John."

Most of the money already raised has been from the close-knit community rocked by John's death.

Michelle said: "Ultimately, we're going for a cure and we will keep fundraising until that happens. If we're able to contribute in some small way so that somebody else doesn't have to go through what dad did, then we will have achieved our goal."

The family has set up a fundraising page at www.just giving.com/johncaddy and a series of fundraising events are planned. Memorial Cornish tartan ribbon pins, designed by John's niece Hayley Harvey, are also available.

In April Holly Caddy, who is married to John and Jean's son Tim, 38, is running the Dig Deep 5km at Siblyback Lake in memory of her father-in-law.

Michelle added: "We'd like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has contributed so far."

Text CORE70 and the amount to 70070 to help.

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  • Rosetidd  |  April 03 2013, 10:13PM

    Hi i lost my wonderful father. In law to this dreadful condition. I would love to raise some money for you as i totally support the need for research so that other families do not have to lose loved ones way too early. How do i get in contact? Many thanks Vickixx

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  • marion671  |  March 12 2013, 4:47PM

    John had his gall bladder out on the 13th december 2012 and was fine for 3 weeks he just fell ill on the 2nd jan 2013 and was diagnosed with acute prancreatitis, so gallstones and alcohol are both ruled out in john's case that is why more research is needed so other people have a better chance of survival

  • katandrew1981  |  March 01 2013, 1:33PM

    Much loved and missed by his brother and sister michael and margret also the family xxx katrina xxx

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  • Davein  |  February 27 2013, 4:36PM

    I have recently been discharged from hospital following another attack of acute pancreatitis, my first being 14 months ago. The first attack was very severe and I fully expected to die as the pain and discomfort were excruciating despite being pumped constantly with morphine and anti-biotics. But with the help of the many varied medical staff, including intensive care nurses, I pulled through. There are two main causes of pancreatitis, namely excess alcohol and gailstones. The 'cure' is to have the gailbladder removed or to quit drinking alcohol. As I have been a 'teatotaller' for the past 30 years and despite numerous scans and x rays and blood tests, the doctors cannot assertain what causes my pancreatitis. I have to wait a few more weeks for the present inflamation to settle and then I will have a further scan before having an endoscopy which hopefully will shed some light on the cause. Pancreatitis is not only one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose (the symptoms can take years to manifest) but is also one of the most difficult to treat. I wish you well in all your efforts to raise the money for research.

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  • Hayleyh1  |  February 27 2013, 10:06AM

    www.just giving.com/johncaddy Text CORE70 and the amount to 70070 to help Many thanks xxx

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  • Hayleyh1  |  February 27 2013, 9:58AM

    We will keep raising awareness for John and make him proud! Much loved and missed.xxx

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