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For leather yours: Witchford author Rosemary Westwell gives her husband a birthday surprise – by arriving at his care home on a Harley Davidson

By Ely News  |  Posted: June 21, 2014

  • Rosemary Westwell

  • Rosemary Westwell with Steve Mingay.

  • Rosemary Westwell with Steve Mingay.

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An author whose husband has dementia gave him a birthday surprise – by arriving at his care home on a Harley Davidson.

Last year, Dr Rosemary Westwell, from Witchford, climbed aboard a Cessna airplane to visit her husband, John, on his special day.

This year, for his 68th birthday, she decided to ramp things up a notch and leap on the back of a Harley.

Thanks to Steve Mingay, of C and A Superbikes in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, a Harley Davidson arrived at her home on Thursday morning.

Rosemary, 67, donned her leathers and safety gear, climbed on the back and visited John on his special day at Heron House care home in March.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“I’ve been on a moped before but I’d never ridden on the back of a motorbike – put it this way, I would do it again if given half the chance.

“I’m not sure what John thought of it all, it can be hard to tell sometimes, but some of the other residents at the care home loved it.

“I just do it to be a little bit different and celebrate John’s birthday in a memorable way.

“I’m not sure what my neighbours thought if they saw me clambering on to the back of it but I think they are kind of used to my eccentric ways by now.”

Rosemary, who is Australian, recently wrote a book – ‘John, Dementia and Me’ – a fascinating novel which explores her experiences of dementia after seeing the dramatic changes in her husband.

John was just 46 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset dementia, Pick’s Disease.

Since then, Rosemary has dedicated much of her spare time to highlighting the need for more support for dementia carers.

If you would like her to give a talk on the subject, call her on (01353) 663918 or email rjwestwell@hotmail.com.

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