I don’t get too upset about people dying, generally speaking. Yes there is a sense of loss and some sadness, but I prefer to remember people for what they brought to the world during their lifetime. And there is no doubting that the world is better off for what my friend Angie brought to it.

Her parents were from Jamaica, and of the Windrush generation, arriving in London in the 1950s. They met and married and Angie was the second of their three children. Living in Watford, Angie’s childhood was a happy one and she says she was never aware of any racism during that time. She was a bright spark and soon found her way into the embryonic computer industry, becoming in demand for her flair and knowledge. This together with her infectious personality brought her success. She moved into project management and, later in life, became a freelance consultant. She loved travelling and did so extensively, making friends all over the world. The girl had done well.

Remarkably well, considering she had to battle and survive

  • Hodgkin Lymphoma in 1977
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma (again) in 1987
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2014
  • Breast Cancer in 2017
  • Serious heart problems as a result of treatment of those conditions

Angie developed a positive mental attitude to her illnesses, determining that they would be no more than a nuisance to her regular life. In time, her various eminent consultants became astonished at how she refused to acknowledge pain, and how she recovered time and again almost by force of her own nature. We worked on preparing a book on the subject of positivity and how the right mental attitude could win the day. A couple of extracts:

There was one episode which illustrated where the medic/patient relationship can be mishandled. It’s not a one-way thing with the medic talking at you, telling you. Listening to the patient is vital as well. This occurred when the pharmacist came to me with a bag of pills to take after my chemo – anti-sick pills, steroids, digestion assistance, I don’t really know. The conversation went something like, “I really feel OK and I’d rather not take anything, thank you.”
“But you have to, doctor’s orders.”
“No thank you, I’ve no symptoms.”
“Well take them anyway in case you have symptoms.”
“No. I have some at home anyway which I’ve never had to take. It’s just wasting taxpayers’ money.”
“You have got to take them, they’re on the prescription!”
“Why am I going to take tablets I don’t need?”
“Oh do what you like!” and she stormed off.


I had the operation and, after a little stay in the ICU, I found myself in a small ward of eight beds and just four patients. There were drips and tubes everywhere in me. One of these was in my chest, a morphine drip. The nurse told me to click the morphine button if I was in pain. I was OK, no pain. A few hours later when the anaesthetic had worn off, still no pain. The nurse was puzzled and concerned by this.

Then, drama. I was given a blood thinner tablet, Warfarin, as a precaution against blood clots. Almost immediately I felt pressure in my chest. It was filling with blood and the tube wasn’t taking it away fast enough. Then it stopped draining all together, something was stopping it. Maybe there was a nick in a vein and blood was escaping. Maybe there was a blood clot. In any event I was now having trouble breathing. It was an emergency and they started to put a team together for a further operation to sort it out.

By this time in my life I knew that positive thinking, the power of the mind, can work miracles. While the staff were running around in preparation I focused. I visualised the blood clot disappearing down the tube and all excess fluid going with it. I saw it, visualised it clearly. But in reality nothing was happening. I was shocked as I was certain this ought to be working.

Then something came back to me, something that I’d picked up on a course not so long ago. I was visualising using only one of my available senses, sight. To engage the full power of the mind, to find the life force inside us, we need to recruit our other senses – hearing, feeling, tasting, smelling. Then it becomes powerful and real.

So, into action again. Now I could see the clot going down the tube. I could hear the little plop as it went into the jar. I could feel the pressure on my chest lessening. Taste and smell not so much in this instance but I tasted the water that I was drinking, smell the surgical nature of the ward. The three key senses are visual, audio and kinaesthetic.

I went through the whole sequence again, twice. I felt the pressure alleviating, I could see the clot going down the tube into the jar, I heard the plop, I drank the water, smelt the room. The pressure fell away. Everything changed and became reality. My mindset and lifeforce had made it happen.

Most of the time, Angie and I worked over Zoom, but last summer she came to Jersey. We did some work, and some walking. A livelier, sparkier, more friendly person you couldn’t meet.

A couple of weeks ago I WhatsApped Angie to see how she was getting on with her medical records which she was going through. Two days later the message was marked as ‘read’ but no reply. Then I heard from a mutual friend that Angie had died on 17th April.

It was a privilege to have known you dear Angie, Rest in Peace.

Angie in 2014 after six rounds of chemo