• Austin Birks

Update on Austin - From Yvi

Dear followers of the The Bag for Life,


I wanted to provide an update here of how Austin is currently doing. Austin finds himself in a private hospital in Edgbaston and he is doing remarkably well! He had major surgery on March 28th to remove his recurrent bowel cancer. His surgery that had been planned with the NHS for the 18th March was cancelled on the evening of the 17th, as all non-essential surgeries had been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.


Austin's surgery took ca. 5 hours and involved a procedure called HIPEC once the tumours had been removed. During HIPEC, surgeons 'wash out' the stomach cavity with heated chemotherapy solution. The combination of heat and the targeted nature of the treatment increase the chances of destroying microscopical cancer cells that may be left inside the treatment area. The feedback from the surgeons afterwards was that they were very satisfied with how the surgery went.


In typical Austin fashion, he was awake and chatting only hours after the surgery. On the second day, he started physiotherapy - 1 day earlier than planned - and he walked a few steps and sat in a chair. Today he will be moving from the intensive care unit to a normal ward. Austin has been telling me that the level of care he has been receiving has been exceptional and he even met one doctor who is a 4th Dan in Shotokan karate, so they have, of course, been "talking shop".


Those who know Austin will know that he is in his usual high spirits. Most importantly, he has been getting much needed sleep which in the weeks leading up the surgery had been extremely disrupted. With plenty of rest, his strong mindset and the exceptional care from the medical team, Austin should recover quickly. Austin and I have also been overwhelmed by the kindness and well wishes of all the people that know him so we would like to thank you all for your wonderful support.


All things going well, I will be picking Austin up from the hospital around the 10th of April.


I will keep you posted on Austin's progress. In the meantime, remember: never give up, never give in.


Yvi






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