This is Richard's Story, and I think it's worth the telling. Richard born 14th May 1977 is the middle brother of three, his older brother is James, and his younger brother is Michael. I'm their dad and my name is Jeff. Richard got off to a rather slow start in life, needing speech therapy at the age of three, but soon started to shine when he went to school. Shortly into his school life, Richard's mother left us to live with another man. And so it was that a little before his fifth birthday we became collectively what is known as a single parent family. This didn't blight him, and he continued to do well at school. Richard developed a keen interest in military history and at the age of sixteen won a place at the Army's Officer Cadet College Welbeck, where he studied for "A" levels, and was groomed with a view to becoming an officer. Initially he did well and was given a plum inter-term posting to Hong Kong with the Ghurkhas. This was a two-week posting that Richard thoroughly enjoyed, and life at Welbeck was lived in beautiful surroundings, however his loyalties were put to the test when a fellow student was expelled for reasons that Richard felt unjust, and he showed his feelings by amongst other things, walking his fellow student off the premises carrying his cases for him in a very public manner. From this point on, his termly reports from the college deteriorated, culminating in his leaving (by mutual consent, as the jargon has it) one term early. However, this was not before he had formed a friendship with two fellow students, a friendship that lasts to this day, and both of whom figure in this his story.
"and life at Welbeck was lived in beautiful surroundings"
The view from Richard's study/bedroom
Despite leaving Welbeck a term before his "A" levels, Richard got excellent results and to the best of my knowledge became the first student from that college to get a top grade in Economics, which he then graduated in at Manchester University along with Steve one of the friends from Welbeck. Having graduated, Richard and his girlfriend of two years Cheryl moved to London. Richard had secured for himself a job with Schroders at a starting salary higher than I have achieved in my entire working life. In fact he had crammed more adventurous activities into his 22 years than most people do in a lifetime. Perhaps just as well in view of what was to happen to him.
Life at Schroders was not exciting enough, and after one year he moved back to Manchester and teamed up with Andrew, the other friend from Welbeck, to have a go at running a business in e-commerce and web page design, and this is where Richard's Story begins.
In respect of their privacy, I have used aliases for all the health care professionals named in Richard's Story, but Richard's friends have given their willing permission for their names to be used.