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A brave young woman

I cannot help but feel immense admiration for Ann Swadden who, as recently reported, underwent a 10 hour brain operation whilst wide awake. Although this was a while ago, I wish her well in the process of recovery. There are, of course, many people who are presented with similar situations who seem to just put their lives in the hands of the ‘professionals’ within the medical profession and live in hope that all goes well.

The word ‘brave’ is often used these days in a way that is not justified but I feel that Ann should have this accolade. When I think of what she has faced by being ‘unlucky’ in one respect, compared with the thousands of people who take drugs etc, just to give themselves a ‘high’ with the inevitable high cost to the NHS and, in so doing, cause immense harm to themselves, it just makes me wonder ‘why?’.

In my opinion, if you want to give yourself a ‘high’ without taking drugs, think about Ann and how lucky you are to be young and healthy. Many of us have our own problems and they do, at times, make you think ‘why me?’. I should imagine that Ann may have thought about that many times.

Ann, I have undergone a series of ‘wide awake operations’ for the heart since 2010 but these were minor compared with yours, but if anything touched my hear’, it is your story.

I wish you good luck and good health for many years to come.

Chris Gleed, Proud Close, Purton

Nothing to celebrate

I am sure that I was not the only one who was disturbed at the “triumphalism” exhibited in Dublin at the outcome of the Irish referendum on abortion.

Personally ,to see people singing and embracing each other after this vote, which now means that babies will die in the womb, was very sad and highly inappropriate.

No matter how you dress it up in politically correct user-friendly language, abortion is the taking of life, and that in no way should ever be a cause for celebration.

I am of the firm belief that only God has the right to take life, not man.

The International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, tweeted that this was “a historic and great day for Ireland”; no it wasn’t Penny, it was rather a tragic day for compassion, especially for the baby in the womb.

Steve Jack, Parsonage Court, Highworth

Thanks for support

I want to thank everyone in Swindon who united with us during Dementia Action Week (21–27 May) to help the 2,200 people living with the condition in the area.

There is still much work to do as dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

During the week new Alzheimer’s Society research revealed that half (52%) of people in the south west say dementia is their greatest concern for old age. We know that too many people face the condition alone, without adequate support.

Alzheimer’s Society is determined to change this and everyone has a part to play in creating a dementia-friendly UK.

If you missed getting involved in Dementia Action Week, it’s not too late to take action to help make a difference.

Why not sign up to take part in Cupcake Day on 14 June – whether you choose to celebrate on the day or mark the occasion another time in the month? Sign up at

For more information about the support we provide, and how you can get involved and make a difference, visit

Chris Atkinson, Alzheimer’s Society Operations Manager for Swindon and Wiltshire, Sanford House, Sanford Street, Swindon

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