In 2011, UK pub owner Alex Lewis somehow contracted Strep A, an incredibly rare bacterial infection from which a person’s flesh starts to eat itself. The infection attacks the limbs, then works its way inwards, through the joints, past the vital organs before finally – fatally – destroying the heart.
“I shouldn’t have survived it,” he says. “I think 10,000 people a year contract Strep in some form, and of those about 9,600 die. Then of the 400 left, only about 10 have quadruple amputations. I’m one of the lucky ones, definitely,” Lewis says in this 2016 Telegraph article.
I watched the documentary below, spellbound for an hour, as Lewis’s story unfolded starting with how the disease left him severely disfigured and disabled. Both he and his life partner Lucy demonstrate unbelievable courage, determination and loyalty throughout the several years covered in the video that focuses on hope and possibility.
While Lewis’s story isn’t about Alzheimer disease or another form of dementia, it is about love, care, caring, challenge, courage, compassion, determination, life, living, reframing and transformation, all of which are integral to the lives lived by people with dementia and their care partners.
I hope you find it as inspirational as I do.
Lewis’s closing words reminded me of what Mom told me in 2014, and what caregivers from around the world said they had learned when I asked (also inspirational):