An exceptionally moving story about a courageous autistic boy, and the effect he had on all who knew him, written by his father, a successful mountaineer.
“Like the swallows, Ollie came in the spring and left in the autumn. Dancing, singing, swooping — there was something birdlike about his energy, joy and laughter — but also the fleeting, transitory, enigmatic quality of his life. At the age of two he lost the ability to speak, when autism turned his life — and ours — into a baffling challenge. Then at four he almost died from Leukemia. Chemotherapy worked its magic, but at six he had a relapse. He fought hard and made a full recovery. Then, just six months from the Official All Clear, a brain tumour was discovered. After a brave struggle, he died very suddenly. His body had gone into meltdown. He was twelve.
“This is not a story of passive suffering or failure. Ollie had extraordinary courage. Time after time he bounced back, determined to enjoy life. He had astonishing endurance.”
“I would like to explore the journey we made with Ollie and to tell his story. Unlike a mountaineer, pursuing extreme experiences for self-gratification, he had difficulty thrust upon him — his courage was real. For me, too, although I did not have to do all the physical pain and suffering, the journey was far more compelling than any expedition.”