In the week when we found out that during 2018 440 homeless people died on the streets of the UK – including one person directly outside the Houses of Parliament, I thought I would take a moment to list the things for which I am truly grateful.

  1. A number of fantastically skilled individuals drew on everything they knew and saved my life when I was critically ill with Sepsis.
  2. I have a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in every night.
  3. I am blessed to be in the most beautiful marriage to Nic. In that, I truly am the luckiest man in the world.
  4. I am a proud Dad to Grace and Freddy. It makes me happy to think I always have them to inspire me to do my very best.
  5. I have 4 prosthetic limbs and back-up from technicians to repair them.
  6. I have a job to go to and very good relationships with my work colleagues.
  7. My Motability car means I can travel easily.
  8. I get to speak regularly at events and conferences about how to recover from setbacks.
  9. My son & I are season ticket holders at Leicester City football club.
  10. I am surrounded by amazing countryside and I can get to it whenever I want to.
  11. I visit Porthmeor beach in St Ives, Cornwall as often as I can.
  12. Disability has taught me great perspective, inner balance.
  13. I have the fascinating privilege of watching incredible world events unfold on TV.
  14. I’ve developed the skill to write well and that helps me to express myself.
  15. Experience has made me sensitive to other peoples’ feelings and situations.
  16. I have had a wonderful education.
  17. I had the chance to be an actor for a short number of years – it was my dream job.
  18. I was part of the team behind Starfish the film, about my Sepsis and rehabilitation.
  19. Nic and I wrote Starfish the book and that tells a true story about what it is to die, then come back to life.
  20. I have come to understand & appreciate that it is completely down to me and nobody else to control the way I feel.
  21. It has helped me greatly as I have got older to understand how less is more – especially, in terms of possessions.
  22. I appreciate how important it is to try and make other people happy.
  23. And to value great music.
  24. I have been able to travel – as far as to Australia, where my amazing brother Adam settled with his family.
  25. I know now that I can cope with anything.
  26. I know now that time is precious.
  27. I understand the need to always keep calm and be generous.
  28. I’ve learned that when you lose something, there is something you also gain.
  29. I’ve become more patient, and I wait for good things to come.
  30. I am rich in love, rich in my relationships, and yes… I am grateful.

I know things can be difficult, especially at this time of year. But really, we are so lucky in so many respects. Acknowledging all these positives gives me energy, belief and confidence for the future. I wonder… What’s on your list?

Here’s the Patrick Heron window at Tate St Ives: