Whilst on holiday Derek collapsed and was rushed to hospital with a perforated bowel and had a Hartman’s procedure to create his stoma. Derek says "apparently it was caught just in time and after about three months convalescence I was fit enough to return to work. This was a delight. The debilitating ‘IBS’ had gone from that moment and right up to the present day. Almost overnight all the stress of living with a weak and sensitive digestive system dissolved into history."
At 68 years young Derek is a retired carpenter, although acknowledges "in truth, we carpenters never actually retire, we just no longer get paid for what we do", and lives in East Sussex with his wife Linda of 36 years, who is a retired chiropodist. He says that his colostomy operation was "liberating and has undoubtedly improved my quality of life, and to a certain extent, the lives of my ‘nearest and dearest’. As I am now retired, I can concentrate my waking hours on more important issues, such as my new grandson Oliver."
Derek is also a classical singer and in 1993 built and paddled a 17ft craft across the Atlantic.
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