Dad shares touching ‘memory log’ for his twins in case he doesn’t get his new lungs

By Richard van Rensburg
28 July 2017

“I have a hard drive with all the pictures and videos ever taken of the kids, for them to look through when I’m not around anymore.”

James Beeching (35) from Hastings, England, suffers from cystic fibrosis (CF), an incurable degenerative lung disease.

He has only about 26-34 percent lung-function left. But he and his wife, Becky (33), are hopeful that he’ll soon get the double lung transplant that will save his life – so that he can see his three-year-old twins grow up.

CF is a genetic condition of which one of the symptoms is that the lungs fill up with sticky mucous and sufferers increasingly suffer to breathe. James was diagnosed with CF as a toddler.

He’s refused to take it lying down and receives daily physiotherapy sessions and medication to alleviate the symptoms. As a child he made a point of trying to do everything his friends did, from running around to climbing trees.

But by his late teens James’ immune system was failing to ward off even minor ailments and over time his lung function has deteriorated to the point where it’s only about a quarter of what it needs to be. He’s had to receive oxygen at times.

“For a long time I’ve been relatively capable and active, but was getting hospitalised more and more often,” James says. And after his conditioned was once more evaluated earlier this year, he was placed on a waiting list to receive a double lung transplant.

As ambassador for the organisation Live Life Give Life he’s been sharing the message for years of how much organ donations mean to ill people and their loved ones.

But James is also realistic and that’s why he’s compiling a photograph and video collection for little Logan and Isobel, who are clearly the apple of their dad’s eye. The memories will include everything from karaoke evening to bedtime stories.

“I have a hard drive with all the pictures and videos ever taken of the kids, for them to look through when I’m not around anymore,” James says. This will include vlogs, in which he explains his situation to the kids, tells them how he feels about their mom and shares his wishes for their future.

“I wanted them to see and hear me. If I go in the next couple of years they may not be able to do that from memory. Now they have something to watch, also when they’re at an age where they can understand death better.”

But in the meantime he and Becky, a primary school teacher, are optimistic that the young family have many more years together to create new memories.

“My lungs have been severely damaged from numerous infections due to CF, so I’m now waiting and hoping for the gift of life,” James writes on Live Life Give Life’s website.

“Being on a transplant list is the scariest but most exciting thing! To get that call . . . the thought of suddenly having to leave my family for such major surgery makes me quite anxious. But knowing that I can have a lot longer with my beautiful wife and babies will also be an amazing feeling.

“The way my body is now deteriorating, I won’t be here in a couple of years. So if I’m able to see my children grow up through the kindness and generosity of a donor . . . well, that person would truly be a real-life angel for me.”

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