Given all that’s been happening recently I’ve had some exceptionally bad days. But nothing like this.
I gathered everyone into the lounge room. Looking up expectantly, our five youngest kids sat amongst members of our extended family.
“This has been the best weekend,” grinned Master10 excitedly.
His two cousins nodded agreement from a short distance down the lounge. They love each other, these kids, and I love them for it.
And this weekend has been great for the kids. With their parents away they’d spent time with their grandparents, cousins and even picked up $25 each while learning to ‘gamble responsibly’ with Auntie Kerri (we’ll be having a chat some other time) who’d flown down from Cairns to be with the kids.
I took no joy in knowing I was about to hurt them to their core.
“You guys know your Mum’s been sick,” I started. “Very sick. And you know she’s had a number of major operations.”
“Four,” said Miss11.
“That’s right. Four,” I agreed. “The thing is, guys, she’s done so well. She’s really been fighting. She shouldn’t have made it past the first night. It’s only because your mummy is so young and fit she’s made it this far. She really has amazed everyone at the hospital. And her doctors and nurses have been fighting for her as well. But the thing is I am going to take you guys down to Brisbane today to see her.”
“Is she awake?” asked Miss8.
“No, darling,” I said. This was killing me. I was about to destroy the worlds of these beautiful children Tracey and I have made and intuitively sworn to protect. While the smiles of these five little kids sitting amongst the family got even brighter and more excited at the prospect of seeing their mother, I could feel the unspoken support from the adults in the room and I was so grateful they were there with us. “The thing is, Mummy isn’t doing very well. She’s fighting though,” I added, because, by God, she is. “And she’s got an amazing team of doctors and nurses looking after her.”
The faces of the older three took on questioning expressions. They finally sensed what was coming.
“Is there anything else they can do?” asked Master10.
“No,” I said, hating myself.
“Is she going to be okay?” asked Miss11.
This was it.
And then the scene in front of me collapsed.
Children screamed and wailed, and adults swept in to support and comfort them. It was dreadful.
Last night the surgeon managing Tracey’s case pulled myself and the family members present at the hospital into a private room and explained things to us.
“We’re not encouraged by what we’ve seen,” the main surgeon said. I know I’m paraphrasing here, but I was a little numb to remember exact details. They’d gone into the operating theatre early with Tracey because something wasn’t right in her stomach. Unfortunately, they’d found some perforations in the little bit of Tracey’s bowel which hadn’t been removed. “Usually we’d remove the bit of bowel in question,” he told us, “only she doesn’t have enough left for us to take more.”
And as I’ve been told far too many times recently for it to be a coincidence, you can’t survive without any bowel.
We were told it was likely Tracey would be moved to palliative care until things ran their course.
So last night I went home and drank and called the universe for everything under the sun. This simply isn’t fair, not for the kids and not for Tracey, who has only ever seen the good in people and lit up the lives of those she touches: don’t take my word for it, ask around.
But then, this morning, a glimmer of hope.
The head of the ICU unit said he wanted to continue to give her the drugs and treatment she needs.
“She’s young,” he said, explaining the surgeons were feeling glass half empty, but he was trying to be more glass half full. Not that it’s fifty fifty, or anything wonderful like that, but we’ll take the slimmest of slivers where Tracey’s life is concerned. “I think we should give her a chance.”
I like this man a lot and I’m not alone.
“Are you going to be here looking after her?” Tracey’s Mum asked him.
He shook his head.
“No,” he said, “but another doctor will be.”
“Yeah, but I like you,” said Nanny, speaking for all of us.
So as thin as it is, Tracey has her chance. There are perforations in her bowel and colon – things are not good. As the surgeon explained, they’d normally cut those out but there wasn’t enough bowel left to work with. There are no more options except healing herself, but at least they’re giving her that chance.
And I took the extra time these wonderful doctors are giving Tracey to work on giving our kids the best chance of mentally surviving this nightmare should the worst happen – I took them to see their Mum.
It was nearly as scary as telling the kids how bad things were looking. Their mother was plugged in and had tubes full of gunk everywhere, but I’m so glad we went this way.
They all spent time holding Mummy’s hand and telling her what they love most about her and saying ‘I love you’ and crying. Tracey’s eyes opened and closed throughout the entire ordeal and even though I’ve been by her bed on so many occasions these past few weeks I still don’t know if she can fathom what’s happening around her in these seemingly more lucid moments. All I know is I say ‘I love you so much’ and ‘you are my world’ every single time her eyelids part when I’m there, because if there’s a chance she can see me or hear me or understand what’s going on, I want her to understand the only thing I care that she takes away from her time on Earth is she was loved passionately and unconditionally. Her short time here has not been a waste.
But as hard as it is to see the love of my life, the woman I am supposed to grow bitter and twisted with, fighting against almost insurmountable odds to stay alive, I’ll put it out there telling your kids their mother probably isn’t going to be coming home is hell worse.
So this might not be the most articulate or well structured bit of writing I’ve ever done, but the gaps between the words you’re reading are not only filled with the tears of me and my kids, but the rest of this big, wonderful, and probably soon to be grieving family.
~ ~ ~
Thank you to everyone who has offered kind words and support these last few weeks.
~ ~ ~
Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.
♡♡♡ Thinking of you and your babies.
Hi Bruce, l have been praying for you & your family, l am so sorry to hear about Tracey not doing well, but remember, their is still hope there, the doc is giving her a chance, & things can turn around quickly, wrapping virtual hugs around your family.
I am so sorry for you all.
So very sorry x love from the UK x
Bruce, as hard as it was for you to tell your kids about their mother, you were right to prepare them and to take them to see her. There is no balm for such devastating news. And it is absolutely not fair for you and your family to lose your dear Tracey. I’m so sorry.
I’m so absolutely sad and sorry to hear about Tracey and all that your family is going through. No matter how dim it seems, always keep hope and faith and be strong. I continue to pray for healing and strength! <3 Hugs and prayers for your family <3
Sending Tracey so much love and light……and to you and the kids too Bruce. My heart is breaking for you all having to go through such a tough time. I will continue to hope that one day, very soon, you can all (Tracey included) look at this experience as a life changing and scary time that you all managed to survive. Big hugs to you and your family. xo
Dear Bruce and family, Where there is hope there is chance. Sending you all lots of love and thoughts from the UK xxx
It’s not over until it’s over ♥♥♥♥ big hugs. Sending you all mountains of strength. Battles can be won in the final minutes. The impossible can become possible. Hang on to that amazing doctor. Write his name down, find where he ‘lives’ in the hospital and use your last bit of strength to advocate for Tracey every moment that you can. And if you don’t have the strength, bring in the hospital social workers to hold your hand through it xx
We are praying for you, Tracey and your beautiful kids.
My heart is breaking for you all, I write this as the tears flow down my cheeks. Hold onto that sliver of hope, don’t let it go. Big love to you all xx
I am so so sorry – I hope she continues the good fight ! She and the kids are lucky to have you
I’m sick at heart to hear this Bruce, but it’s not over til it’s over and you’ve got a world of people sending love and prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family and especially Tracey. Keep all of our love in your heart and let us help you keep strong.
Prayers and love and positive thoughts!
Bruce I am numb, my heartbreaks reading this, I felt like I was in the room with your family and kids I didn’t cry I just read your whole blog with my mouth open in shock they I have been reading all your blogs and know Tracey’s situation and being in ICU as my brother was in there in April until he died but totally different situation as was born with one kidney, it finally gave out and 10 yrs ago Mum donated hers which didn’t take so had been one dialysis for a long time but got a terrible infection this year and you know the rest, so reading about the ICU brings it back though only was able to see him once .
I am praying and thinking of you praying for a miracle praying Tracey will pull through, praying that hearing her kids will give her the strength
Love and prayers Bruce, kids and family
Being in the US, I had spent much of yesterday sending you all positive thoughts and prayers, hoping for good news. I see now it is not. Tracy is about the same age as I and I have 6 children. The thought of me leaving my babies behind at such an age horrifies me, as I’m sure it would her. This is quite literally a nightmare and I am full of condolences to you and your family for having to go through this, much less losing Tracy. Complete strangers around the world are shedding tears for you and your family. I am sorry.
Oh man 🙁 I have been checking in all day for an update and this is not what I was hoping for – heartbreaking. My 32 year old brother was diagnosed with bowel cancer recently, and the surgeons hadto remove his whole bowel. They attached the end of his small intestine to his rectum and he is doing really well now. I assumed they removed his entire bowel, but having read your comment about the surgeons saying you can’t live without any colon, perhaps they left a very small amount in my brother, I am unsure. Whilst I am sure the surgeons have considered everything, perhaps you could ask if a total resection is possible? This is not fair, she is so young with so much to live for. However, there is always hope. It’s not over until it’s over, and I am sending many positive thoughts to you and your family x
You remain absolutely eloquent and my heart bleeds for all of you. I am praying for a miracle. x
I’m praying for you and your family, and for God’s miraculous healing for your wife. I can’t imagine what you are all going through right now xx
I’m so sorry to hear of this latest development.
Hold onto that hope, the doctor wouldn’t be throwing it around if he didn’t think there was any chance. The tiniest shot is all Tracey needs to pull through.
Hoping and wishing for a miracle outcome xx
Tears are streaming down my face. We will continue to hope for recovery. What a great dad you are giving your children the raw, painful truth. Big hugs for you and your big family.
No. This is so, so wrong. I too am crying . . . and shouting at any higher power that will listen. I am so glad there is a glass half-full doctor giving you hope. You are so brave and strong and I join everyone else in praying for a miracle. Sending every ounce of love and healing and hope.
My heart is breaking. Love to you all, I have no words xxxx
I’m writing this through tears. This is not what I wanted to read and I know it’s not what you wanted to write. As another lady said “it’s not over till it’s over”.
I’m so sorry the kids and you are going through this. Just keep hoping, wishing and praying (I am). You’ve got a lot of us behind you and beside you. Look over your shoulder. You can’t see us but we are there. ???
I think this is the most real and raw piece of writing I have ever read. I’m praying for a miracle x.
Sending all my love, hope and strength to you all. I am sure taking your beautiful children in to see Tracey gave her an extra boost to fight her fiercest fight. We are all willing a miracle for you all.
I’ve been following along Bruce and I’m so devestated to read this. There are no words. Just hope. Xxx
Bruce, I don’t know what to say.
I haven’t stopped thinking about all of you, and I will continue to pray for a miracle. xxx
There are no words, just prayer, faith, hope.
I couldn’t read this update and not reply. I’m not the praying type but every fibre of my being is sending Tracey and your family strength, wishes and hope.
I just read this and my heart sank… I know a few people who are presently in hospital for one reason or another but this is the most severe situation out of all of them.
You and your family are in my heart, it’s not easy I know very well. Yes Phyllis & I were not together but (contrary to some’s ideas) I still loved her but the illness was too rampant to see her before she died.
I have every digit crossed she will recover and return to the loving family she has.
Always your friend,
Oh Bruce the tears are running, stay strong, keep thinking positively. From reading your blog we all know Tracey is one strong amazing woman, if anyone can survive this its her, if love and courage can bring her thru it will
in my thoughts and prayers
Oh Bruce, My heart is breaking for you and your family. Hold onto the hope and I truly believe she can hear you when you are talking to her. What a wonderful thing you did for your children by taking them to see their Mum even though it was also probably one of the hardest things you have done. They will be forever grateful in the future. Sending you all love and hugs. xxx
From one dad/husband to another, I really feel for you are going through. Having to tell the kids what they need to hear is tough and it sucks. I have had to do similar a few years back and it tears the heart out of me (and I am sure you) but I am glad I did. Our outcome wasnt good, but I sincerely hope and pray yours is.
Bruce my heart goes out to you and your lovely family. I will keep hoping it will be ok. Xxxx
Each day I check for updates and after Sunday’s I was so worried about this one. I am so very sorry that this is the course that is running for such a beautiful woman and her family. I know my wife & I are thinking of you frequently and are hoping for the miracle. Love to you all. xoxo
My thoughts, prayers, love and what ever else can possibly help coming your way. There are so many people who are here to support and send you good vibes and I know that all these good thoughts will help.
How can they transplant a heart and not a bowel?? She can have some of mine! Hell she can have ALL of it! There has to be something that can be done! After weeks of sadness and hope we are starting to get angry now for you Bruce. It is just NOT OK! This is NOT OK!
My heart goes out to you all….Praying for you all.
Pleading to God for healing for Tracey. For through faith we know God hears our prayers.
God bless you all.
Bruce, I’m thinking of you and your whole family at this extremely challenging time. I’m praying for Tracey to get through this and to be home with all of you soon x
Thinking of you & your family Bruce & praying for a miracle. I keep hoping that Tracey’s condition will improve & the next news will be better. My heart is aching for you & your beautiful children & im hoping for that miracle for you all xx
I only became aware or Tracey’s condition last week. I cried when I read your blog. I was fortunate to have Tracey take photos of my mum, my daughter and myself in May this year. My mum was in palliative care living at my home, Tracey was amazing and took the best photos. Sadly my mum passed a few weeks later. Fortunately Tracey captured some beautiful/precious memories I will treasure forever.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love and light xx
My heart goes out to you and your family Bruce, even though I don’t know you…I feel i do after following you for the last few weeks….you are doing such a good job..you love for each other will get you through some trying times…
Bruce, I’ve been following you for quite some time and have been reading your updates with bated breath…”this can’t be happening” is all I can come up with today. I’ve not commented before (chasing my three around has kept me busy) but today more than ever I wanted to let you know that there’s a household in Brisbane sending more hope and love than I can possibly express in a few words here. I’m sorry that you and your beautiful children are having to go through this, but all is not lost. She is young, strong, and otherwise healthy. She is a fighter, and she has a hell of a lot to live for. She’s not going anywhere yet xxoo
We’ve been following your journey Bruce and praying for Tracey and our heart goes out to you all. Remember in faith, hope and love and the greatest of all of these things is love. Anita and David Beasley
Bruce, I am a Mum of small kids and from all of us out there – thank you. Thank you for having the strength to take your kids to be with Tracey. If I was laying in Tracey’s place I could not ask for anything more than my kids to be with me. The strength you guys give is not to be underestimated.
I’m praying so hard that your family will pull through this – and that Tracey gets to hold you all in her arms again.
My heartfelt best wishes to you Bruce and your family, especially Tracey. I hope as Tracey was opening and shutting her eyes she was taking in the love and strength of you all, where there’s life there’s hope, miracles happen to other families why not yours as well. I wish your family a miracle for Tracey. Best wishes to your family from me and mine.
Praying for a miracle and healing.
Thinking of you and your family and praying Tracey pulls through this. I can’t even imagine the pain and fear you and your children must be experiencing right now. Miracles can happen, I hope in this case one certainly does
I read this update I sit with tears rolling down my face. I do not know you or your family, but my heart is breaking for you and your children. Its not fair that bad things happen to good people, the universe has a lot of explaining to do sometimes. Sending you virtual hugs, strength and positive healing vibes. You are in my thoughts xxx
Bruce, tears of sorrow & yet hope are shed for you & your family. Prayiñg for a miracle for Tracey to pull through. Love to you all. Glenda Hammond. ♡♡♡☆☆☆☆☆☆
Bruce, I have been following you every step of the way and I am crying now with you and your kids and the rest of your family. This is so heartbreaking for you all, I am glad the doctor is giving Tracey another chance and hoping you get a glimmer of hope today.
Love and best wishes and hoping for a miracle.
I can only imagine the pain you are going through and it is so hard to comprehend that you are doing your normal everyday things and then suddenly your body gives out on you in such an extreme way. I am crying for you and your family, yet am amazed that you are able to still write and share this with us. Either way the outcome goes you have incredible strength that will help get you through each day, even if you don’t know it yet. Love, prayers and kindness to you all.
Tears and love for you here. Can’t fathom how you had the strength to tell the kids that their mum might not make it. But you did it. When told a poor prognosis, I said to the doctor “but what about my kids?” who were 4 and 8. He said “They will still have joy in their lives”. I have to think that the mothering I have done was loving enough to set the course for who they were and the course their life would take. You are amazing Bruce, you are doing everything right. I can’t think of any words of encouragement only praise for your love of your wife and family. IRL you obviously have a great extended family and friends. Online here and on Facebook maybe you can feel the 1000 hugs of people you don’t know. They are hugs that want to hold you up. x
My heart hurts for you and for your family. You and Tracey have been shining beacons of love, hope and humour in my life and I am heartbroken that you are having to deal with this.
I want to offer something back to you both for being a light in my darkness. I am a Reiki practitioner and intuitive energy healer. If you would like to, and the doctors also give their permission, I would like to come into the hospital to do an energy healing for both you and Tracey.
I cannot guarantee any outcome but that of a little peace and space created to facilitate healing on both of your parts. The energy goes where the Universe determines where it is most needed, but I believe that I can help in some small way by doing this for you both.
Love, light and blessings to you all
Bruce, what can I say except my heart is crying for you and your beautiful family right now. Your words are so touching and emotional to read and I am so sorry that you all are going through this. I send my love and thoughts with you all at this very trying time. xxx
Bruce, My heart is breaking for you and your beautiful family. It’s so strange to feel this way about a family I’ve never met, but I’ve cried for you all every day since it started looking so dire for Tracey. My family is praying for yours – for healing for Tracey and for peace and strength for you all.x
I hope you are able to feel the positive thoughts of everyone that has been hanging out for news of your family, continually logging on to check for updates. I appreciate the time you take to include us in your precious time at the moment. We are a complete bunch of strangers to you but your family have become a part of our lives. Hug your kids close, hold Tracey’s hand and tell her to fight like a girl (Firefly style) and I hope the positive thoughts of some 30,000 complete strangers helps her in some way. I am not normally into Hippie Healing Vibes but between your family and a close relative I prepared to vibe away.
Sending prayers, hugs, positive energy, everything I can send across. I feel for you and your family. I hope Tracey pulls out of this. You are an amazing family, you are amazing to share this journey with us all, so brave. I hope everything works out for all of you.
Bruce, you were the first person I thought of as I woke today. You are doing an amazing job and not many of us know how hard it is to be keeping sane right now. I’m in awe of you, and Tracey too…..hanging in there, albeit subconsciously for her family.
She needs you to take the best care of YOU right now, because she needs you to be okay for your children, whatever happens. Clearly, that’s the sort of wonderful lady she is.
God bless your wonderful extended families, holding the fort and giving your children a stable, happy place to be.
You have a lot of people walking the journey with you……we are all here, and thanks for including us as your (mostly unknown) friends. Know that we sending love.
Sending love and strength at this nightmarish time. Tracey Is a friendly gentle soul and touches everyone she meets with her beautiful smile and presence. You all deserve a miracle to keep this beautiful lady with us. Xo
You, Tracey and your kids have been on the top of my mind. Bruce you are one of the most kind hearted men I know, with such a full heart of open love for your wife and I truly love that you would happily scream it from any roof top or even a quiet whisper. Prayers and so much strength is being sent to Tracey, you and the kids. xx
Bruce, you are such an amazing person, father, husband and true hero! As a Mum and a Nurse my heart breaks for you and your beautiful family. Hug your kids and know that there are no ‘wrong’ decisions at this point, do what feels right in the moment! Every minute, every hour is another wonderful achievement by your beautiful wife, She is an amazing fighter!! Thank you for sharing your family’s journey – your strength is truly inspirational!!
Kids look how loved your mum and dad are. They are an amazing example of how people should be. They are loved so much by so many because they care for everyone who crosses their path. Every person who knows them feels like they are a special part of there lives. If all people were more like them imagine how good a world we would have. They may get angry sometimes or say a few choice words here or there but they would be the first to drop everything to help others. Be proud of your family. You mum, dad, brothers, sisters and especialy tour grand parents cause that’s where this came from. I love your mum and dad like family. You will always be my family to.
The collective heart of the internet is willing Tracey on, Bruce. Please know that you have all of our love on your side. You have allowed us into your lives and let us get to know you and your family. Our hearts are breaking for you. Stay positive xx
Tears streaming, heart broken, still sending rainbows and butterflies and all good healing vibes! Come on Tracey!! It’s up to you!! You’re stronger than those doctors!! Show em!!!
Thanks to Joshie for ringing my boy, he’s been so concerned, and just wants to help his mate.
Love to you all, we’re here if there’s anything we can do! ?
Oh, Bruce. My heart is breaking. You and Tracey have done an amazing job with your amazing kids and whatever happens, she is there in all of them – you should both be so proud. I am so so so sorry for everything you are all going through and I am wishing and praying for a miracle. I may have never met you all in person, but you have let us all into your lives – what a privilege.
Just know that you are doing everything right. You’re amazing and I am sending lots of strength and best wishes (I am lost for the ‘right’ words that convey just how strongly I feel for what all of you are going through).
I hope you can feel all the love and support x
My name is Devina. I’m a very old school friend of Shelley and Shane’s. Although I’ve never met you or Tracy, I just want you to know each time I read your blogs they make me cry. I can’t imagine or understand what you and your family are going through in such a tumultuous time. I genuinely wish Tracy, you and the kids all the best.I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. xx
Oh Bruce, I’m not a big ‘prayer’ and probably don’t have much credit booked up but I’ve been drawing on it all and praying for Tracey. I hope you’re all aware of the good wishes and love of the Gympie community and we’re all willing your darling Tracey to recover. I hope for strength and comfort for you and your family while you wait for Tracey to come back to you. I’m not willing to contemplate yet that she won’t. <3
I only just saw your posts shared on another friend’s wall. Oh my, I”m so sorry. I’m glad you took your kids in to see their mother, I’m glad you’re not scared by what you see in there. I’m glad for the gallows humour and the rest of it.
So, adding another candle here in Australia, lit in hope that Tracey magically, miraculously and tremendously recovers even if it’s just enough time to spend conscious, pain free hours hanging out with the six people who love her best in the world.
And go earning $25 apiece, handy life skill!
Bruce, I can’t begin to imagine what you are all going through right now but please don’t feel there is nothing more anyone can do for Tracey. From reading your blogs I know you don’t believe in God but at a time like this when there is nowhere else to turn, what harm can it do… Pray and pray hard. Get all those around you to pray and maybe, just maybe, the power of prayer along with medical intervention may help heal your Tracey. I know I’m praying for her and you all during this time.
Bruce, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this is on you all. Tears streamed down my face reading this. I love reading your blog and hearing about your family, it gives me the strength I need some days to get to the end of the day. I am praying for Tracey and holding on to hope so hard for you and your kids. Don’t let go of that hope, however small it may be, hold on to it as long as you can. She’s a fighter! Xxxx
I am bawling reading your words, i can’t imagine how hard this is for you. Thank you for sharing this difficult time with us. Your children have a truly amazing dad. My sincerest prayers and thoughts are with you, your wife and your children. God bless
My heart is aching for you all. I have no words of comfort as right now nothing can comfort you. I really hope she heals and comes home to you all. Ive loved reading your blogs for a long time now and am always a little in awe of you. God bless and know that there is thousands rallying behind tracy and sending love your way xxx
Tears are streaming down my face.
I have been reading your blog for so long, and throughout your ordeal, I have read and wanted to comment, but could never think of the right words.
DONT GIVE UP!
You are an amazingly brave husband/father and man. And as a mother, I dont think I could be anywhere near as strong as you have been in this situation. And yes it hurts and its caused you so much pain, but taking the kids to see Tracey was probably the best thing you could do, they may not understand now, but in 10 years time, they will be truly grateful, if anything should happen and the universe does decide to take your wonderful wife.
Im asking the universe and begging with every single Midi-chlorian in my body that Tracey pull through this, and me and my little family are sending you all the power of the universe to try and help.
My heart aches for you and your family. I send positive healing thoughts to you and your wife. May she continue to fight. Xo
This has bought tears to my eyes and my heart goes out to you Bruce, your children and extended family. I’ve never met you, but I feel when I read your stories you are doing the best possible job you can do in all departments. Come on Tracey we are all thinking off you, your family is waiting for you to come back to them xxx
Oh Bruce, words cannot express how sorry I am for you and your beautiful family. You are in our thoughts, hearts and discussions every day and Tracey would indeed be proud of every effort you’ve taken.
Bruce I hold my breathe reading each update.
I can only imagine your fear while understanding my imagination views only the tip of an iceberg.
Big love to you.
Bruce. No words can express how I am feeling. My heart breaks for you. The love of your children will get you through and Tracey will feel that love from your children and your love. Hold on. Love has cured many an illness. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Bruce, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful family at this very difficult time. I have known Tracey for many years, not personally, but have had dealings with her through my work and finally through Camera Club. I have followed your blogs regarding Tracey’s fight for life, I have shed many tears as I’ve read and also smiled as you have shared your journey and devotion to Tracey (it is very emotional reading). Tracey has age on her side and is fighting so hard to stay with you and her family. We all have so much hope for her to pull through this, if the little town of Gympie and your blog followers have any pull at all with the number of prayers being said for Tracey, she will share that beautiful contagious smile of hers once again.
I have no words but my heart is breaking for you all. I’m still willing your darling wife on with every fibre of my being. Much love. Xx
my heart goes out to you all what a strong man you are hope pray you come through this all bless you xxx margot
Not the news we were hoping to see this morning. But a sliver of hope has the potential to be a miracle. I can’t think of another family more deserving of that miracle. Not an hour passes each day without you guys in my thoughts, prayers and heart. She has fought this hard for this long, and that alone gives me faith that she will get through this. I bet she savoured every moment that the kids were there, and they would have given her a renewed strength to keep battling. Cry when you need to, hug the nearest person to you when you feel like you can’t keep going, and know that there are thousands of people out there sending you, Tracey and the kids every best wish, positive energy and prayer they can muster.
Send love, light and hugs to all of you. xx
Come on Tracey! Thinking of you all Bruce.
I’m so sorry, Bruce. I wish I had a magic wand.
Bruce my heart is breaking for you and your family. Every word you speak she hears. Sending Tracey lots of healing. Stay strong. Lots of hugs xxxx
Dear Bruce, my family and I are praying constantly for “all of your family” to get through this very difficult time and have the uttermost respect for you and Tracey, she is such a friendly and beautiful person. You are all doing so well given the circumstances and I can’t begin to imagine how hard it has been. You and Tracey are an Insperation, sending lots of positive vibes.
I’ve been in a very similar situation with a few friends over the years, and I’m so sorry this is happening to you and your family, Bruce. I am sending everything I have. Through all of my own near death experiences (one at the RBWH) my doctors NEVER gave up on me and it sounds as though you have some great ones in your and Tracey’s corner. Tracey is in the right place – that much I know. Sending love, healing and hope XO
Bruce, my family and I are sending you, Tracey and the kids every positive thought and wish possible. These random strangers are thinking of your family mate, and hoping for the best. I only hope that I can become the amazing husband and father that you are. 40Yr Old Dad is right, Tracey must be exceptionally proud of your strength and love.
I have followed your blog for a while now. I have laughed with you and shook my head at you. I have also been hanging out for your blog updates lately hoping for the good news we all want to hear. I am not familiar with the ICU unit but am very familiar with the RBWH gastro unit and specialists outpatient unit as my partner has Crohns disease. My heart is breaking for your family. Our experience with bowel surgery was hairy but not even on the stress radar compared to yours. None the less, Tracey is in the hands of world leading surgeons and specialists and for that has got you this far. I am comforted that your children were able to see her. And thankful for you keeping us all updated. Your family is always in my thoughts and I hope you get some good news soon.
Sending all good vibes and fighting spirit to Tracey and all of your family. Donating to Care Flight now.
How utterly heartbreaking for you and your babies. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and keeping us updated.
There is nothing is can say that can really help. I’m amazed you can find any energy to post.
I had one thought I wanted to pass on though. I think it’s amazing how well you have protected your children through all this. If the worst happens, remember it’s not just ok, but vital that they see your grief too. Pick your moments if you can, but in your grief you authenticate theirs, and can all be there together. Don’t let them feel they have to look after you, but don’t hide it away so they feel theirs is invalid or that you don’t care.
That being said, I’m hoping with all my heart that the next post will be about the miracle of modern medicine and the wonders of organ transplant or similar surgery.
To Bruce and your babes. My husband and I only started following you on Friday – but you are in our prayers and we hope that the sliver of hope becomes an amazing gush of miraculous-ness!! Love and God Bless from Far North Qld!!!!
Praying for a miracle for you all x
Bruce we are praying for supernatural healing for your wife. In the mean time I pray Jesus will be yours and your children’s comfort. We are standing with you in Faith hoping circumstances take a turn for the better.
I have been following and cannot believe what I am reading. You are all in my thoughts every day! There is HOPE, let’s cling to that.
So, so sorry to read this update today, hoping all the prayers and best wishes reach your lovely family
Praying for a miracle Bruce. Light and love to you all xx
I feel so useless after following your story and stalking your page for any update. I can’t begin to imagine how you are feeling. It just isn’t right that this is happening to Tracey and you. I am pleased you decided to take the kids to see their mum. It will mean a lot to them. I don’t know what to say except hang in there whilst there is even a slightest chance, there are so many thinking of you all.
I’m glad the kids have seen and talked to her. I’m sure that on some level that will help Tracey, and them too. I hope the surgeon is right and I’m so glad he’s giving her a chance. Praying for you all, and for the next post to be better news.
My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and your family’s at this tough time.
My eyes are leaking and my heart is aching for you and your family. I have enjoyed you blog for a while now and have been following your recent heatbreaking journey. Your positivity has been amazing.
Know that although we have never met I wish the best for you and your family, and hope that a miracle will happen for you and soon. No words can help so I send Tracey healing thoughts.
You are in my thoughts and prayers xx
She a fighter and has a lot to fight for. We’ll continue to hope and pray for that slim chance.
Hey Bruce, My thoughts are with you mate. They say if you stay positive good things will happen. Let me know if there is anything you need. Ruddy.
I am so glad the kids saw Tracey and talked to her. While I howled with you as I read this latest update (thank you for taking the time, we understand how hard it is for you)I was so very pleased. They say talk to people in a coma because you just don’t know if they can hear you or not. It seems like Tracey knew you were all there. I can only imagine how much strength that gave her. You guys are in my thoughts 24/7. If only we could help more …. <3
My dearest Bruce, I applaud your wonderful inner strength even though you feel helpless. Take heart that all the family are very strong and supportive for you. If there is such a thing as mind messages, you and Tracey will be being swamped with positive messages
Your young family x 7 are truly blessed to have such a wonderful father and friend.
I know Tracey will be fighting with all her might to stay with you all so you can continue your wonderful lives together
lots of love Ann and Eric
I dont know you. I only read your post after I read something from Jackie Gower and followed it up. But my tears are real for you. As a mum, as a spouse. No words, only prayers. Hang onto hope, I know she is fighting as hard as she can. It might be enough. xx
I am sending you all strength and prayers and also unbelievable faith that Tracey is in wise, compassionate and unbelievably clever hands. I only think positive things when I read your posts and just know that Tracey can hear you all and knows that she is and always has been loved by you and your children unconditionally. I just know this.
You are all in my thoughts.
Sending you all my love, strength and best wishes. I too have had to sit my kids down and explain that their other parent may die. I too have lived on that ICU roller coaster. My heart goes out to you all. Hang in there Tracey, you can do it.
You can do it too Bruce. Accept all the help offered. Some of no longer living through a nightmare pay back the kindness we received by paying it forward. Xx
I am so sorry. I spent all of the weekend crossing my fingers and praying for you guys.
You must be hurting really bad and I am really sorry. Thank you still for sharing what must be the worst time ever with us, and I’m going to still be hoping against hope for the craziest little miracle.
Sending my love and prayers.
My heart breaks for you all… xx There are no more words – only love xx
You are truly an amazing man & family reading your blog I really feel I have gotten to know you & my heart is breaking for you all. I truly hope you are given a miracle & your Tracey comes back to you! xxx
Never give up on hope and prayer, hold onto that light and pray hard, when you wake in the dark, pray, when you pause doing the dishes, pray. Let the tears fall and while they do, pray. I’ll be praying and hoping with you.
So sorry to hear that news. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through. Thoughts are with you and your family xx
There is hope, even the tiniest bit. Hold onto that – we are all praying for her.
I only just recently discovered your blog and have really enjoyed reading all the past posts. My heart aches for you now and your beautiful children. I’m not sure what other words to say, just to say my thoughts are with you all. Geez, sometimes life really deals good people a bucket load of s$&t. I am just so so so sorry and just wishing my hardest for you all that things turn around. Much love and strength to you xxxx
Oh god Bruce. Thoughts, hugs prayers karma and everything for a miracle for your family. xxxxx
In my thoughts and prayers. Hope for all of you that Tracey pulls through.xxxxxxx
So sorry this is happening You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope for all of you that Tracey pulls through.xxxxxxx
No no no no no!!!! I’ve yet to comment for lack of anything useful to say but I’ve been following, hoping and wishing for the very best outcome. Fingers crossed it could still miraculously materialize for all your sakes. My aunty also struggled to survive the bowel battle and lost just last month. I’m so sorry for you and the kids.
Oh Bruce. I’m just in shock. Keep fighting, praying, hoping Bruce! My family and I will be doing the praying and hoping for yours. Lots of love <3
I’m so sorry for what you & your family are going through right now. Take strength & comfort in the support & love of your family & friends & especially those beautiful kids of yours. I’m truely hopeful that things turn around for Tracey & she gets better. Sending you all big hugs & love.
Bruce I’ve only just arrived at your blog & caught up on the shocking news about your beautiful wife Tracey. Words can’t express my my sorrow for what you & your family are going through, but giving your children an opportunity to say goodbye (if that’s what it turns out to be) is a life long gift that is both heartbreaking but vital. I wish you all the best possible outcome for Tracey.
Oh Bruce, I wish I could do more. Keep talking to her, let her know we are all praying, please. The gift she has given the world is priceless, five children, two lovely extras and a man many look up to with humour and respect. She has made us laugh, at times cry with laughter, and she has a strength not possessed by many in this world. She’s fighting so don’t you stop until she does. Love to you all.
Dear Bruce and Family,
My heart goes out to you all. Bruce the strength you are showing for Tracey and your family is awe inspiring. If love can conquer all bad things you will win this fight.xx
Sending you all so much love & best wishes.
No words seem adequate enough for what you and your family are going through right now so I will just send you all our love, hugs and kisses at this terrible, terrible time. XOXOXOX
Also wanted to send my thoughts and prayers. I can’t imagine what your family is going through but am praying for a miracle.
To Bruce, I will hold on to the sliver of hope with you and wish for a miracle, if anyone deserves it, it’s your family. Sending love.
Bruce I have been praying for Tracey and will continue to do so with many others. We share your grief, terror and hope, through your writing. You are not alone in this. Draw all the strength you need in the coming days from your family, friends and others all throughout the world who are offering their support and love. I have hope… Xxxxxx
Oh Bruce, I hope and pray you will cry out to Jesus. He hears you and knows and understands your family’s suffering. He loves you all. I am hoping and praying for a miracle. Love to you all.
God Bless you Tracey and let you stay on this earth for your beautiful family and your happiness. God bless all your family. X
You did the right thing taking the children to see Tracey. They see past all the tubes and only notice the person they love. I am sorry everything is so scary. I just prayed for all of you and I will continue to do so. May you all be healed.
God Bless Tracey and the family. I will be praying for the family. Tracey deserves to see her beautiful family. Keep fighting gourgeous lady and god, angels, please help her in this battle Xx
oh Bruce. this is just f&*ked. unfair & f&*ked up! it sounds like that Dr sees something in Tracey that makes him believe she can come through this. I’m so glad you took the kids in to see her. But please, you can cry, you can scream, curse & break things but don’t you give up on her. Tracy’s broken all the rules so far & think she’s still got a bit of rebellion in her yet. Sending you all much love & healing vibes & hoping with all my heart that this story has a happy ending for your beautiful family xxx
Bruce, keep your kids by her side every waking minute with their hands on her. My childrens hands take away every one of my pains and bring me peace. Tracey will know they are there. xx
I’m gutted to hear this news however want to share something with you. 3 years ago I flew over to Cambodia to be there when the machines were switched off and to help make funeral arrangements for an infant who I had been supporting and who my mother had named.. Sapphire. The parents couldn’t be there when we shut down the machines so they went to the pagoda to prepare a plot for her.
Except when the machines were turned off, she kept functioning on her own. Medically we were told it was impossible… yet today she is a happy and healthy nearly 4 year old. Keep praying..
Hi guys…I told Zachary what is going on & he said he sends his best wishes. Thinking of you so very much & feeling…wishing I had the magic wand to take this all away. Keep your chin up. So glad the kids got to see Tracey. <3
When I read this this morning I was crying so much that all my kids started behaving…. There were buckets of tears…. And even after I pulled myself together and stopped crying I have been quietly praying, hoping that Tracey will pull through this. I really don’t know what to write to you in a time like this but know that we are sending as much prayers and virtual hugs to you, Tracey and all your beautiful children and extended family. xxx
Bruce, You must feel like a zombie! Thank you for continuing to write updates for all of us who are waiting on your words, hoping Tracey is somehow doing better. Tracey does touch everyone she meets. Like a ray of sunshine. May she bring her sunshine back! I agree with Bonnie Hollander’s comment regarding heart transplants – don’t they have a way to provide spare parts for the digestive system too? With all the technology they seem to have? I don’t get it. Please get well Tracey. Please, hospital staff, don’t give up on Tracey – give her what she needs for as long as possible to give her a chance to win this battle! xx
Long time reader, first time commenter. Tears streaming down my face. This is heartbreaking. Please be ok Trace.
You’re so strong Bruce. Sending all my love and I am hoping against hope that she pulls through. Please.
Bruce, my heart is breaking for you and the kids. I’m so glad that you took them to see Tracey. As hard as it was and as heartbreaking as it is to see their mum like that, I think they will be forever grateful for the chance to see her. I lost my dad when I was 10 and I wish I could’ve said goodbye. I really hope the worst doesn’t happen, but if it does I think you definitely made the best decision for the kids and for Tracey. I’m sure she will know they were there and I’m sure she hears you when you say you love her.
My thoughts are with you and your family.
My heart breaks for you and your family. It’s all too close to home. Just four months ago I watched as my best friend lost her life to bowel Cancer and left behind four beautiful little girls. Praying for a miracle and know that Tracy can hear you even when her eyes aren’t open. Believe me. They hear everything so just talk.
I’m so sorry that this is happening to your beautiful family. This is just terrible, just unbelievably horrid.
I hope that the ICU team working hard and doing everything they can, will bring Tracey back to you and your family.
If not, I hope you know that you are an amazing man that is doing everything you can for your family.
Don’t forget to look after yourself, the ICU team will look after Tracey. Always.
All our love and best wishes for Trace and your family xxoo
Today , this day , it will remain like a wound there will be healing and a scar. Your children will never forget but what I hope they also remember is the picture you’ve so eloquently described. The love of surrounding family during this time . The love you have for Tracey and your family is very clear she’s a lucky lady to have you.
I can barely comprehend this .. I have no idea how you are coping. Praying that your beautiful wife finds the miracle you all deserve her to have. Love and prayers and all good things xox
I have no words other than you all have my love and prayers
I am so so so sorry.
Bruce, I used to follow your blog a few years back and dropped out when I had my baby. I just found this out today. I am so so sorry for all of you! I started a novena prayer so St Anthony the miracle-worker. But if there is no miracle, then I know He will give you all the strength to accept this and go on. I still can’t believe this is happening. All my love, Suzanne
Tracey all the family & the staff looking after her are in my prayers. Xoxo
From one Queensland family to another, our hearts and thoughts are with you xo.
Everyone who reads about what you’re going through will be sending so much love and hope to you, may this give you the strength and peace to keep going x
Oh Bruce, this is so heartbreaking. I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am to hear of what you and your lovely family are going through. Love to you all x
I can’t imagine the roller-coaster you have all been on for the last few weeks. I teach Yoga and we will be doing a group prayer for healing for Tracey and sending you and your family big love and hugs. Magic can happen with more prayers sent Tracey’s way for a miracle turnaround. We are all thinking of you. ? ? ?
My heart is broken by this tragic event. Sending strength and support to you all. Good luck and God bless.
Bruce and family you are in our thoughts may you feel the communities strenghth to keep you going
I am not the praying type but for you and your family I will do so in the hope it makes some difference. I will also kindly ask the universe to ensure your children get to keep their mummy for as long as possible. You are in my thoughts Bruce. Emily xxx
I’m so sorry to hear of your family’s heartbreaking story. I first heard of Tracey through numerous friends in Gympie and they had only good things to say about her. So many prayers have been given for her recovery by so many people, myself included.
Sending rays of hope to you at this worst of times. I read your last post deliberating about whether you should take your children to see their mother in hospital. I’m so glad you did. While it must have been horrible beyond words for all involved, it’s important for their understanding, I believe if you didn’t they would later resent you for it. It also sounds like Tracey responded to their love in her room. Keeping your family in my thoughts. x
You are doing and saying the right things for your wife and kids under extreme pressure. My heart breaks for you all and I am praying for you x
So devastated to hear of this – you and your beautiful family are in my thoughts. Best best wishes.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful children. Fingers crossed she heals herself and she can come home soon. Xxx
Still thinking of Tracey and your whole family! Hoping something good has come of the last few days. Big hugs and love to you all xxoo
If love and strength of will are the answer then you guys are giving Tracey every chance in the world to heal herself. Love and light xx
I read this, not realising I was holding my breath. So happy there is hope. Praying for Tracy and your family 🙂
I have no idea what to write here, other than that my heart goes out to you, Tracey, your little ones and your whole family. You have my support and my prayers heading your way – I am a complete stranger to you both, but through your blog you have touched my life. Be courageous in the face of fear and doubt and give the kids an extra huggle when you can, they will need it as much as you will. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers xx
I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. You are in my prayers, hoping that Tracey comes through this xx
Praying very hard for a happy ending for you all. I cannot fathom the depths of your fear and grief, but my thoughts are with you.
My thoughts and prayers for Tracey and your beautiful family. Big love to you all.
Dear Bruce, please don’t give up fighting for your beautiful wife. The road to recovery might begin tomorrow. Whilst an awful time for you and your precious family, your kids needed to see their mum and it was right for you to do that. I pray that Tracey’s inner fortitude and your unwavering love help her through this battle of epic proportions.
Good luck and God bless. Xx
Bruce, I have just discovered your blogs, through the BOQ mysource page. I scrolled back and read a few of your blogs before Tracey’s illness, but then have read each one since. I have tears streaming down my face and my heart feels heavy, I am lucky I am not at work whilst reading your blogs. I can’t imagine how you and the kids are coping right now, but being able to share your story with us is a blessing. I commend you for your unconditional love for Tracey, she is fortunate to have you beside her all the way. Your love shows through your story, and I just hope she can beat the odds and return home to you and your kids. Sending you lots of hugs
Dear Bruce, I am SO,SO sorry for what you, Tracey and your family are going through- an absolute nightmare of horrific proportions. I live in the UK, but Wholefood Simply ( an amazing Aussie food blog) had a piece about you all today. I am so glad you took the children in, no matter how distressing it was for them- you gave them a chance to tell her how much each of them loved her, and for that, they will always be grateful to you. Sending hope, concern and sincere best wishes your way.
so sorry to read this. i am in tears having just gone through this with my mother in law in NZ. miracles happen all the time and i pray you get yours. god bless and sending much love
I don’t know what else to say, but I am sorry your family are going through this. Sending strength and love.
I am praying for you, for your beautiful Tracey and for your brave children. Bless you all. I wish you strength and love x
Blessings for you all xxx
Praying for you all. Thank you for sharing. ?
Thank you for sharing this and expressing it so beautifully (and we could all read the tears between the lines). Hugs, thoughts, good vibes and love being sent your way. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sucks. x
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings Bruce. We wish all the best.