'Nature got me through leukaemia'

2023-05-29 08:16:48  • 3 mins

By Elise Chamberlain

BBC News

A former shop manager has explained why he quit his job to lead birdwatching tours after surviving leukaemia.

Stewart Abbott, from Belper, Derbyshire, was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia in 2018.

The 56-year-old underwent months of treatment, which included isolating at the Royal Derby Hospital.

Mr Abbott, who has been a birdwatcher since he was eight, said during his treatment he had relied on one window to give him glimpses of nature.

"I had one little window and was hoping that a woodpigeon or something would fly past to give me that connection with wildlife," he said.

Mr Abbott was initially forced to isolate, both at the hospital and at his home, while undergoing chemotherapy.

He then spent further a further spell in isolation while waiting to be given the all-clear after being prescribed an experimental drug, before having to shield during the pandemic.

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