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>> Where are they now? >> Re: Bill Chesneau

Message started by Karen_M on Aug 11th, 2017, 6:21pm

Title: Re: Bill Chesneau
Post by Karen_M on Aug 11th, 2017, 6:21pm

Hello, this is another update about Bill Chesneau for both the NewBlueBook and the ex-BBC Staff Forum, mainly about his 80th birthday ‘do’ on Monday 07 August.  

We ended up with a total of seven party-goers on Monday, including Jim and myself.  The nursing team obviously realised we were not causing any trouble to Bill or the other patients so they did allow us all to squeeze into Bill’s room for the duration.  We drank all the non-alcoholic champagne, which didn’t actually taste too bad considering it lacked that all important ingredient, but nobody wanted the cake for some reason (probably connected to an enormous pre-party pub lunch) so the nurses did well that evening.  We all sang that song – you know the one – and even managed to persuade the two very nice Speech Therapists to join us for a while and add their voices to the song.

There was a lot of BBC talk going on and Bill really enjoyed it.  He seemed touched at the fact people visited him and made a fuss of him for a while.  He had also received numerous birthday cards, plus numerous messages and emails that I was able to print for him so he was well chuffed!  I took along email messages (complete with several anecdotes) from Richard Boulter, Allan Haynes, Brian Watkins and Ed Dougall and Arthur Chesterman that day and there had been others over last weekend.

He did get tired though.  For him, it was a happy but long afternoon with lots of people so no wonder he drooped somewhat by about 5pm.  I hope I wasn’t rude to visitors, but I did rather engineer everyone’s departure  at that time, as I knew Bill’s  evening meal was about to served (and it was) and Jim and I know from experience that he wants to eat alone and gets very distressed if anyone is there at mealtimes.

Who visited?  Well, Jim and me.  Simon Simpson, Martin Patmore, Tim Humphries and towards the end we were joined by John and Linda Hills-Harrop.  Poor John wasn’t looking too good but Monday is always the day of his injection and that does always ‘knock him out’ somewhat.  

It is, of course, quite possible that Bill had more visitors during the evening session.

And, I know that today Steve Wright will have visited Bill, Les Honess plans to visit when he can next week and Arthur Chesterman will visit ASAP (probably October).

Martin Patmore had brought along his camera and tripod and he did take several group photos but we have yet to see how they’ve turned out as Martin is away at the moment.

Linda H-H did prompt me to organise a Visitors’ Book so that people can sign it when they visit and make a suitable comment (yes, even rude ones!) so that Bill can look back on it and also so that we can see who has been, as Bill obviously can’t tell us himself.  So all of us did sign it and I’d like to prompt future visitors to do so too.  Mind you, when we saw Bill yesterday we couldn’t actually find this VB, but it must be there somewhere.  It’s bound to turn up, please do hunt it down and add your name when you visit.

So, how is he doing?  Bill is doing really well.  He now has lots of movement with both right limbs, which had initially been paralysed.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of strength in them, but at least he has movement back and that’s good.  His major problem remains his speech;  he still cannot articulate what he is trying to say, but he continues to make lots of gestures to act it out.  I remember in my last update I mentioned that this is like a game of charades and would you believe it, a game of Charades has appeared – obviously a birthday present from someone but we don’t know from whom.  Whoever sent it, what a splendid idea and thank you.  

Between Bill’s birthday on Monday and our next visit, which was Wednesday, Bill had been moved to another room.  So for future reference, he is no longer in the Independence Suite – visitors need to search him out in Bed Room 3.  This is such a shame as the original room was nice and big and airy, but this room is much smaller and a bit grim, to be honest.  The worst of it is that this room doesn’t have an aerial socket so he can’t plug his TV in, and tonight The Proms concert is Oklahama conducted by John Wilson and we know Bill really wanted to watch this.  Hopefully he’ll be able to catch it in the Day Room.

We understand that the Consultant/Nursing Team/Therapists, etc, held a Case Conference on Wednesday to talk abut Bill’s progress and future.  We have asked for information about the outcome of this Case Conference and it is so frustrating that we received the usual answer that we weren’t really surprised at – they couldn’t tell us anything at all because we are not relatives.  I have emailed Bill’s son but my email bounced back so will have to wait until I can talk to his wife, Lidia, and hopefully she can tell us what happened.  I worry that moving Bill out of the Independence Suite may be as a result of the Case Conference – maybe they feel he has reached a point of independence that will not improve further, who knows and I am just guessing/assuming.  If that is the case, we wonder what will happen next.  Bill has been in the Rehab Unit since 11 July, which is four weeks – maybe that’s the sort of timescale they have in mind for keeping patients (guessing again).

We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as we hear/know anything.

Finally, my apologies for taking so long to send this update about Bill’s birthday, it has been one of those weeks!  Sorry, too, that this got rather lengthy!

Best wishes to everyone, and thanks again to all of you who sent Bill all those lovely cards and messages.

Have a good weekend.  Regards

Title: Re: Bill Chesneau
Post by Karen_M on Oct 24th, 2017, 6:38pm

My apologies to everyone at the NewBlueBook and the ex-BBC Forum for my slackness lately – it has been a long while since my last update about Bill, but here’s one and although it’s a bit lengthy it’s a good’un!

We have just received a telephone call from the Social Worker leading Bill’s ‘case’ for his discharge from the NeuroRehabilitation Unit at Amersham Hospital.  She was a very kind and helpful lady and was happy to answer Jim’s questions about a suitable Care Package for Bill, etc.  Any, this is to bring you up to date.

We had certainly known for quite a while that the Rehab Unit wanted (needed) to discharge him, and we had seen that work was being done (behind the scenes, to us) to achieve this, but of course we were not being told anything as we’re not relatives, so we very much appreciate getting this call.

We also knew of the plans that William and Lidia were making to move into Bill’s house – Tanit.  They have already been doing a lot of work on the property, as it had got into quite a state.  They’ve replaced the kitchen, mended the roof, re-built the conservatory, etc, and are now decorating and relaying new carpets.  However, it took them a long time to de-clutter, so they are still doing the decorating and that’s why the house won’t actually be ready for Bill for another couple of months at least.  But William, Lidia and kids will move in at the end of October and that will make it easier for them to get on with the necessary work.

Bill does know about these plans (we were worried that maybe he didn’t and would find it all very distressing) and now he seems keen to go ahead with it all.  During our visit on Friday Bill himself showed us a sheet of paper about the Care Home he will be going to, so over the weekend we’ve researched it and the Home looks pretty good, thank goodness.  I’ll give some links at the end of this, and attach the info I compiled into a PDF and printed for Bill to look through, to this email
(if it’s not possible to include the attachment, email me on      and I’ll send you the PDF).

Bill is actually looking forward to this move, he agreed he is looking forward to getting outside and having some fresh air which he hasn’t had or been able to do since April.  The gardens at the Care Home do look lovely.  Fingers crossed that the Care Home is as good as it looks online.  Bill did, however, admit that he’s a bit nervous about it which is surely only natural – he has been in hospital since April after all and will now have a new routine to get used to and new people to meet.

Bill IS to be discharged this coming Thursday – 26 October – and he will be going into the Care Home on a temporary basis – they are aiming at about two months.  During his stay there the Speech Therapist from the Rehab Unit will visit him there to continue therapy sessions.  And once they have a date for Bill to move back into Tanit there will be a meeting between Bill, William, Lidia and the Social Worker to discuss the details of the Care Package Bill will need at home.

So, this is all good news, innit!!

He really has made incredible progress, certainly physically.  He is walking around really well now.  He even walked us to the door so see us “off the premises” yesterday and was very pleased with himself.  His right hand – and he is right-handed – is much, much better.  He has a lot of movement back in it, but it is still quite weak as is his whole right arm.  He has some small balls from Physio that he does hand exercises with and they seem to be doing the job.  However, he has had several incidences of clumsiness with that hand – dropped cups, for instance.

He is actually beginning to now to make good progress with his speech too, he is certainly trying very hard.  He has been very chuffed to show off and tell us that he can say “wine” and “cheese” and “baby” – all important words to him, obviously!  Have to say, his little grandson – William 3rd – is delightful and has a great rapport with Bill (and only 18 months old).  Bill now has several sheets of words that are pertinent to him, like those I’ve just mentioned, and he does like to practice them although he does still need a bit of prodding to get the sounds right.

We are still quite baffled about the fact that Bill can read and he reads quite voraciously his crime thrillers.  He tore through the first two volumes of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and was excited when I took in the third one – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – even though it’s a thick one of nearly 800 pages!  He likes Lee Childs’ books too.  Yes, it is continuing to baffle us that he can read and follow these quite complex plots, but is unable to find the letters he needs to make up words, which means he can’t write or type anything.  He does now have nouns, but no verbs or adjectives and he can’t construct a sentence.  However, he has asked us to get hold a small laptop for him so perhaps the Speech Therapist is going to encourage him to give that a go.  Certainly, when Jim took his own laptop in Bill couldn’t cope at all, though that was a few weeks ago now and we do seem to be seeing obvious signs of progress every single visit now.  Mind you, it’s not easy to find a small laptop with a decent spec at a reasonable price, but hey-ho it can be his Christmas present!

Well, he’ll be moving on Thursday so we’ll give him that day and Friday to settle in and we will go and visit him in his new temporary abode on Saturday.  I will try and do better and report back after Saturday on how he’s doing and what the Care Home is like.  He will certainly be happy to have some different foods to eat, as he’d become thoroughly bored with the repetitive menu at the Rehab Unit.  Luckily we’d been supplying him with his much loved as-stinky-as-possible, soft and gooey and smelly French fromage!  That and his beloved Radio Times every week!

OK, this is it for now but here are the links I promised for Hazelmere Lodge:

And my PDF is attached.

Regards to all – next update after our weekend visit.


It doesn't seem as if I can attach my PDF, or I can't see how to do it.  I can send it via your email if you let know on

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