Campaign launched to clear Waterlooville dad’s back garden after he ‘died twice’, went blind and spent three months at QA Hospital

A FATHER who is ‘lucky to be alive’ will soon have the outdoor haven he dreams of enjoying with his three-year-old son.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 10:41 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 10:46 am
Ricky, Clarissa and their son, George, who is three, at their Cowplain home. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Ex sub-contractor Ricky Kirk’s Cowplain garden has been left to fester since he ‘died twice’ in one night after suffering back-to-back cardiac arrests on June 25. 

The 39-year-old hoped to beautify the space after renovating his family home but was put into a coma and forced to spend three months at Queen Alexandra Hospital. 

He has returned to live with his fiancée, Clarissa, but she is now his full-time carer after he was left brain-damaged and almost blind because of severe sepsis and pneumonia. 

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Ricky, Clarissa and their son, George, who is three, at their Cowplain home. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Now the 34-year-old will team up with a pal to tidy the garden on April 13, to give her ‘walking miracle’ partner a place where he and their little boy, George, can make up for lost time. 

'Until he died Ricky had worked so hard in the house and his plan was always to do the garden last,’ Clarissa said. 

‘The vision now is that we can get rid of all the rubble and it can become somewhere really nice that Ricky and George can enjoy together and can bond again.’ 

She added: ‘For Ricky to have pulled through all of this is absolutely remarkable but it has had an effect on his relationship with George, because one minute his dad was there then suddenly he wasn’t. 

The mounds of rubble which need to be removed from the back garden of Ricky and Clarissa's Galaxie Road home, in Cowplain. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Their bond is starting to build again but if we get this space done it will come on leaps and bounds in the spring and the summer.’ 

On the day he suffered the cardiac arrests Ricky had been at work as normal, before returning to his Galaxie Road home, having his dinner and going to bed.

As he laid next to Clarissa he complained of chest pains, an ambulance was called and his condition worsened dramatically when paramedics arrived – all while George was asleep. 

The drama that followed, he said, ‘almost wrecked’ his ‘superb’ family life and has left him fearing he will never be able to tie the knot with Clarissa or take George on holiday. 

Michelle Dewdney, Ricky, Clarissa and George. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘We were on a high – I had a good job, I was providing for the family and we had not long bought a lovely home,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know this was coming and I had no way to prepare.

‘I am stupidly lucky to be alive and I am so glad and surprised that I’m still here. I have been through a hell of a situation.’ 

He added: ‘I love my family to bits and I would love to get out in the garden with them. 

‘I would be so amazed if people came together to make this happen.’ 

Dubbed the Campaign for Ricky, the project was the brainchild of family friend Michelle Dewdney, from Denmead. 

The 44-year-old hopes local businesses will get behind the effort on April 13, by offering up refreshments and equipment to help shift the rubble and hardcore blighting Ricky’s garden. 

She said the ‘dream’ would be to transform the space so Ricky and George can set up a football goal and play with a ball with a bell inside, suitable for his reduced vision. 

‘We’ve got some family and friends together and we’ll be out there whether we have to wear sun cream and hats or raincoats and wellies,’ she said. 

‘It would mean the world to make this garden safe for Ricky and George.’ 

Any businesses who would like to support the project, can contact Michelle by emailing [email protected]