The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time: Living with my husband and Diffuse Lewy Body Disease

The Gift of Time is a moving and informative new book written by a local minister, the Revd Canon Pat Prestney, which tells a tale of love, hope, faith and a cocktail of medication that truly gave a dying man and his family The precious Gift of Time.

The Gift of Time tells the story of Keith Prestney who was diagnosed with Diffuse Lewy Body Disease in 1999. People with this aggressive dementia usually only survive for a couple of years following diagnosis but, in Keith’s case, he survived for a further 11 years.

For some time Keith had been unable to communicate with his wife Pat and their family. No-one really knew if he was aware of his situation or if he knew what carers and family members were trying to do for him. However, almost overnight, after receiving an experimental cocktail of medication, Keith ‘came back’ and was able to describe just what life had been like for him while he had been unable to make others aware of his thoughts, and feelings.

From living in a mysterious parallel world, Keith recovered sufficiently to be able to enjoy the birth of his grandchildren, family holidays and weddings, and meeting his friends. He became able to feed and clothe himself again – in fact, his life was almost back to normal!

The Gift of Time will help to reassure others caring for loved ones who are not able to communicate that their efforts really are appreciated and that it is possible that the person they are caring for, even if they cannot speak, can most likely hear and fully understand what is being said. Keith’s recovery had been amazing but, slowly, as the years passed, he began to relapse. Setbacks were arrested by increasing his medication but, having reached the optimum levels, the medication gradually failed to uphold his general level of awareness. Sadly, Keith began to slip back into the twilight world from which he had emerged at the start of the experiment with, what was for him, a hitherto untried cocktail of drugs.

The Gift of Time is a heartwarming, sometimes amusing tale told by Pat who wanted to ensure that her family’s experiences looking after Keith could help others who find themselves in a similar situation. The Gift of Time is published by The Revd Canon Pat Prestney and is available at selected bookshops for £4.99 or directly from The Revd Canon Pat Prestney by sending a cheque for £6.50 (to include post and packaging within UK) made payable to the Revd Canon Pat Prestney at 14 Church Street Rowhedge CO5 7EY To arrange postage outside UK, please contact Pat (see below).

The Revd Canon Pat Prestney was rector at the parish church in Lawford, Essex and currently has a ministry in the Essex village of Great Bentley. She is available for interviews and can be contacted on 01206 728343 or by 07825222780 email. (Please note, that owing to the nature of her work it is not always possible to answer the telephone immediately. If this is the case, please leave a message with your name and telephone number and she will call you back as soon as she is able).

All profits made from the sale of The Gift of Time will go to Diffuse Lewy Bodies Disease research.

The Gift of Time was co-written by Ivan Sage, formerly a deputy group sports editor and feature writer with the Essex Chronicle Series of newspapers, based in Chelmsford, Essex. This is his sixth book. Ivan Sage can be contacted on 01206 231770 or 0775 480 1565.

If you wish to receive a copy of The Gift of Time for review, please telephone Pat and she will forward a copy to you.