• Park life and death 30 August 2016 | View comments

  • 30th August 2016 | By David Jolley

    After the days of clinging heat and sun it was wonderful to walk with the dogs along the path between trees which goes down to the golf course. After 5pm on a Friday and not much action on the course. The pebbled path is home to puddles after the rain and droplets from an earlier shower cool and freshen the air and add to the feeling of descending a tamed mountain stream.

    Time and freedom in our parks and green spaces are joys and balm for those living in towns and cities.

    We had heard earlier in the week that the body of a man had been found, murdered, near Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, in the early hours of Friday morning. The body proved to be that of Jairo Medina who had been recognised for his excellent work as a carer of Joe Behrens http://alzheimersshow.co.uk/blog/2014/05/06/joe-behrens-is-93-years-old-dementia-doesnt-restrict-my-life/ with the Margaret Butterworth award 2015. A young Egyptian man of no fixed abode – does that mean ‘homeless’? – has been arrested and accused of his killing.


    Jairo Medina

    So the freedom and therapy of the park is transformed to a scene of devastation: one splendid person can continue his work no more. Another person is under scrutiny – thrown into public light from anonymity by such a desperate occurrence. No doubt we will learn quite how they came together on that night and maybe motives will become apparent. We take our deepest thoughts and feelings to quiet places of nature. There is danger in depths and passions.

    The need for care arising from dementia is confirmed. The skilled and dedicated work of unsung people is given a little bit of sunlight. The example which Margaret Butterworth gave is appreciated. Unexpected dangers are seen.

    My personal struggles this week have included an exchange with Professor David Oliver on the matter of NHS Continuing Health Care www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4214/rapid-responses.

    It is a matter where we reveal our defining values and is one where I think Professor Oliver and I would wish to agree – but somehow this is not how it has seemed.

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