Monday, 2 May 2011

Sad News

Thanks to Br Declan for keeping us informed concerning the doings of the Brothers. His latest communique is sadly bad news.

On Monday last at Southport in Queensland, after more than seven years of prolonged illness, Br Fabian Clark died, aged only 69.

He was at New Plymouth in 2001 and 2002. He was in Mangere East the next year when his health began to fail seriously.

Br Dec also maintains the Brothers@fdmc on line spreedsheet and he tells us he has made some recent updates.

Since this initial post we have received the following information from Br Ambrose Payne.

Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of

Brother Fabian Clark
(Ronald Humphrey)
Aged 69 years

Brothers will be aware of the long illness borne with amazing patience and outstanding fortitude by Fabian for much of his life.  He suffered several serious asthma attacks in his early years and in November 2004 was taken seriously ill whilst a member of the Mangere East Community and transferred to Villa La Salle at Southport.

His final years became a long period of suffering.  He was soon diagnosed with CREST syndrome (limited scleroderma) a condition which affects the connective tissues of the body.  Connective tissue is a kind of cellular glue.  It supports and gives form to tissues and organs throughout the body.

Because it is so pervasive and varied, problems with the connective tissue gives rise to a multitude of disorders.  The initial symptoms affect skin and blood vessels; it also affects the digestive tract and can cause serious heart and lung disorders.  There is no known cure and treatment is designed to assist in the management of the condition.  Brothers familiar with Fabian’s condition over the past years will recognise that he suffered all these complications.

From around November 2010, Fabian’s condition began to deteriorate.  The medical staff at St Charles Hospital, for whom he had great appreciation, advised him that the medications had run the course of their effectiveness.  His physical condition deteriorated and he suffered considerable weight loss.

On Easter Sunday, coincidentally the 51st anniversary of his robe-taking he joined the community for lunch and quite unusually enjoyed a hearty meal.  On Monday he suffered serious digestive complications and was quarantined as a precaution.  His door on Monday afternoon asked that he be not disturbed and last night at around 8:30 p.m. the carers made a visit to his room and found that he had passed away.

In some sense Fabian had a premonition that his time was limited.  In response to a question of whether he was ready for death he answered with characteristic feistiness “I have been ready for fifty years”.  In response to another he replied that he was resigned to God’s will.

Fabian is survived by a brother and cousin.  There will be a Mass of Thanksgiving for his life at Southport and funeral details will be published as soon as they are finalised. 

Ambrose Payne

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