Mikey Williams

Mikey Williams went to be with the Lord on Tuesday 8th November 2022.
He leaves his wife, Alyssa, and their two young boys, Finn (2 years) and Zac (9 months) – please do pray for the family.

Having suffered from headaches and vomiting for three weeks, Mikey was admitted to hospital on Sunday 2nd October. Investigations revealed he had the worst type of brain tumour and surgery was not possible. Having initially been given a prognosis of only hours to live, Mikey made a remarkable recovery and was able to enjoy spending precious time with his family, and even joined us at church the Sunday before he died. In the end, his deterioration was quite rapid and he passed away in a hospice, surrounded by his family. We grieve with great assurance that Mikey is now with the Lord in glory.

Service of Thanksgiving

A service of thanksgiving for Mikey’s life was held on Friday 25th November 2022 at St Helen’s Bishopsgate.

The recording of the service is available to watch on YouTube. 
The order of service can be downloaded below. 

Financial Support

In addition to the immense sadness of Mikey’s passing, his death has left Alyssa and the boys in a dramatically changed financial and material situation. Members of her church family have been discussing her needs with her and have tried to come up with a programme of support that is both appropriate and meets Alyssa, Finn and Zac’s needs. At this stage, we are hoping to raise £16,000 for six months of childcare and living expenses and £15,000 for the purchase of a used, but sufficiently new and cost-effective to operate, family car (Alyssa and Mikey had borrowed cars up to this point) for a total of £31,000. This will allow the family time to properly grieve and put in place longer-term solutions to meet childcare and living needs.

One-Off Gifts

St Nick’s is limited by law in the ways it can use and give money to Alyssa. As such, we have set up this GoFundMe page to collect one-off donations towards the expenses mentioned above to ensure that they can be given directly to Alyssa to meet these core needs. If you would like to give to these needs and the GoFundMe page has reached its goal, then any additional funds will go towards the family’s longer term needs.

Regular Giving

If you would prefer to commit a regular amount to cover childcare costs (e.g. a monthly amount for the next 6 months), or are prepared to consider supporting the family regularly in the longer term, then please reach out to the contacts below who are coordinating this. We expect living expenses and childcare costs to decrease significantly once a longer-term solution is in place, but ongoing support of one form or another will be required for the foreseeable future.

Giving to St Nick’s

As mentioned, St Nick’s cannot directly support Alyssa with most of these costs. It has already done so to the maximum extent permitted by the Charities Commission. St Nick’s has a hardship fund to which Alyssa will be able to submit requests in the same way as any other church member, but which cannot funnel donations to Alyssa. Having said that, if you have to give tax efficiently (e.g. through Stewardship) and would like to make a gift to that fund, please reach out to the contacts below.


Contacts

Please do not contact Alyssa directly about giving. Christian Stuart, churchwarden at St Nick’s and godfather to Zac, is helping coordinate the fundraising. Please contact him at [email protected] with any queries or pledges, copying in Carrie Fishlock ([email protected]) who is also helping Alyssa.

Videos

This video is the recording of an update given on Mikey’s condition, given by Chris Fishlock at St Nick’s Church on Wednesday 5th October.

This video is the recording of Mikey’s last talk at St Nick’s and explains the confidence Mikey had in life beyond death.

Updates

Click here to read all updates given on the progression of Mikey's condition since he was admitted to hospital on Sunday 3rd October.

These updates were given by Chris Fishlock, Minister at St Nick’s, unless otherwise specified.

 

Tuesday 8th November – 14:12

Mikey went to be with the Lord a couple of hours ago.

“… The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21b)

Up until yesterday Mikey had been doing quite well. He has been staying at St Christopher’s Hospice and his slightly improved health had meant he has been up and about, with Alyssa and the boys, and had even been able to be at church with us all last Sunday.

Yesterday evening he started going downhill and by this morning Alyssa thought he had deteriorated further. Mikey’s parents arrived at the Hospice late morning and Mikey died soon after. Alyssa, Kirsten and Mikey’s parents were at his bedside.

Alyssa will be spending time with her family and is very happy to receive messages.

 

Wednesday 26th October – 09:09

Some good news – yesterday Mikey was transferred to a single room in a hospice in south London. The environment is much better for sleep, family visits and (as Mikey was quick to point out) opens up a new mission field! He has given out large numbers of cards to the staff and patients at King’s with a QR code taking people to his recent talk on John 11. Even as I chatted with him, some of the staff were reporting back to him their interest in his talk!

Mikey explained to me that hospices are used for two reasons. For many because the end is near, but for others, to provide a better place for rest and family visits as the next steps are worked out. Mikey has been moved to a hospice for this second reason. Please can I ask you to pray that the next steps will be become clearer to Mikey, Alyssa and the families.

The shocking original prognosis, repeated a number of times in the first few days, of – “just hours to live” – seems a long time ago now. Huge steps still need to be taken to work out what lies ahead and the consultants who are keen for Mikey to try some chemo – to improve his quality of life – are still reluctant to put a time frame on Mikey’s life. Obviously, this all raises a catalogue of questions and mixed emotions.

All that said, each day is precious in different ways. So, please can I ask you to pray for wisdom and strength for each member of the family – especially for Mikey and Alyssa, their two boys and their families.

 

Sunday 23rd October – 15:44

Update from Mikey & Alyssa:

Please give thanks with us and pray on for wisdom, strength, perseverance and the Lord’s will to be done in the following…

Medical: Mikey is remarkably stable, gaining strength and feeling more himself (which is quite confusing given we know there is a deterioration to come but also that some areas of his brain have been/are affected). They have reduced his steroids to minimum allowance for now. Oral chemo tablets with few side effects have become an option which he’s inclined to try as it may help him feel better for a time and give him a few more weeks.

Give thanks that Alyssa and the boys have recovered from the sick bug, but pray on for health, energy & God’s sustaining in a draining situation with the boys, physically and emotionally.

Practical: We’re hoping to be transferred from King’s for a less medical environment to enable better sleep /rest and more privacy for family visits. The preferred Clapham hospice denied the transfer application for now (it may allow it when Mikey’s condition is critical but it is also out of our catchment area), Sydenham hospice may give Mikey a bed later this week (but it’s further and may be time limited). If he starts chemo they may move him to Guy’s/Thomas’s to be under a neuro-oncology team.

Spiritual: lots to give thanks for, they feel v upheld by prayer and encouragement from so many of you, the Lord’s ongoing kindness, that they continue to remain steadfast and trusting the Lord, with good times meditating on God’s word. We are both finding it hard to concentrate on God’s word – but for slightly different reasons. M because of the hospital environment and trauma. And A because of the huge uncertainties ahead and the ongoing daily challenges. So please pray for us both in light of this. Give thanks for ongoing gospel opportunities, especially for Mikey with hospital staff. Pray many would listen to his John 11 talk off the back of cards he’s been able to give out and engage with the hope Jesus holds out.

Personal: Give thanks for enjoyable & encouraging visits with the boys and wider family which are being treasured as special times.

Mikey has some Australian family spending time with him this week. Alyssa and the boys are having a few days rest with her family this week, pray it would be a replenishing break from the intensity of the last few weeks.

Kids: Pray for the boys to not be too unsettled despite becoming more aware that family life is not as it used to be.
Give thanks that Alyssa and the boys remain incredibly well supported in so many ways by church family, family, a fab nanny etc. But pray for a longer term solution to our need for a suitable nanny.

Finn had a brilliant day celebrating his 2nd birthday on Friday (photo attached!)

Friday 14th October – 18:11

I was with Mikey and Alyssa in hospital today. They are both in remarkably good spirits.

The following is written jointly by both of them…

We are increasingly settled on a path of not attempting any treatment, because of the risks and very uncertain and limited benefits. So there is no expectation of a longer timeframe than suggested, ie most likely weeks. We are content and trusting the Lord with that.

Give thanks for increasing confidence and assurance for Mikey that to die is gain, as to depart and be with Christ is far better (Phil 1v21-23) and that Mikey is looking forward to that. Although, Mikey is obviously extremely sad about leaving Alyssa and the boys. Please pray for them all especially about these points.

Give thanks for times of encouragement with Christian friends and family and for opportunities with others. Please pray for the staff who have heard of our hope and for continued opportunities with them, patients and others.

Give thanks for Alyssa’s continued trust in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness and for better health for her and the boys. Please pray for ongoing good times in God’s word and prayer each day and for Finn to cope, as he is becoming more unsettled. Pray that he may learn from a very young age (almost 2) to lean on his heavenly Father and cast his cares on Him.

Pray for Alyssa and the families as they get their heads around grieving for Mikey a second time in the weeks ahead.

Give thanks for immense ongoing support from church family and beyond. We’re both so grateful!

We are still waiting/hoping for a side room to become available, but exploring the possibility of moving to a hospice (with a few benefits, but further from home).

Tuesday 11th October – 21:03

Zac given antibiotics and sent home. Should be fine.

No other significant developments so a good opportunity to say that from here I/we will not post each day unless something significant changes.

Thank you so much for prayers. It has been an extraordinary 10 days.

Please do keep praying on for Mikey, Alyssa, Finn and Zac

Also for Rick & Lulu (Mikey’s parents) + Chloe (M’s sister)

And for Bruce & Maryann (Alyssa’s parents) + Jocelyn & Danny and their 2 daughters ( A’s sister & family) + Kirsten (A’s sister)

 

Tuesday 11th October – 11:50

GP just called Alyssa about Zac. They think he has a tooth abscess and have recommended that he gets taken to the Evelina hospital. The nanny will look after Finn and Alyssa will take Zac to the hospital now.

 

Tuesday 11th October – 01:23

I am sorry to write so late again, but I thought this news urgently needed your prayers.

Alyssa finished a meeting tonight at the hospital at 10.30pm. My wife, Carrie and I discussed the latest development with her as she travelled home on the bus to Elephant.

Mikey is now in a remarkably lucid state. The steroids have reduced the swelling of the tumour to the point where he is talking (slowly) and even walking with the help of one of the nurses (!) He is understandably confused and is by no means his old self – but he is in a state that we were all told last week (on a number of occasions) could not happen.

The same doctor, who pronounced (on Friday night) that it would be ‘downhill from here’, spoke tonight about the possibility of treatment to prolong Mikey’s life. For the first time he said ‘months’ rather than weeks (or even hours). We must still remember, the diagnosis remains the same as before: an incurable brain tumour.

Alyssa has experienced the tragic shock of Mikey’s imminent death (“hours to live”). And now, she has to accept Mikey’s – soon but not yet – death (“maybe months”). Alyssa cried regularly though the update on the bus and is finding this unbelievably hard to process.

We believe in a God who is sovereign over every aspect of life and death. We must trust God’s goodness and treat each day as it comes. Please pray that Alyssa will have all the strength she needs to cope with what lies ahead. Please also pray for the family to adjust to the implications of this new development.

Church family have been working tirelessly to help Alyssa and the boys through this and today a temporary nanny started work. Much to be thankful for! Alyssa is being looked after again tonight to ensure that she gets some sleep as Zac is still not well.

Psalm 121

 

Sunday 9th October – 22:54

A number of people have asked for a link to Mikey’s recent talk in John 11

 

Sunday 9th October – 22:50

Mikey was more engaged this evening and seemed to enjoy hearing about church. I read Exodus 3 and prayed.

Please pray for him to be confident in his faith though this time.

Please pray for Alyssa, Finn and Zac. For restored good health. The strength to cope. That they would all know the Lord’s goodness.

For Mikey’s family and Alyssa’s family to trust the Lord despite their pain.

Please thank the Lord for the huge outpouring of love and practical support that has been shown.

 

Sunday 9th October – 00:34

Mikey’s situation on Saturday was very similar to Friday. He has a reasonable level of understanding but quite limited ability to communicate. It is still unclear how much of his memory is working correctly. It must be tough but Mikey remains steadfast. I went this afternoon with Tom Wright, we read Psalm 121 and we prayed for Mikey and the family.

A group of family and a few close friends have been invited to visit Mikey regularly. This pattern has worked well to date and has meant Mikey does not get overwhelmed. Going forward the family still needs time and space to process and work through all this. Please do pray on for Mikey & Alyssa, Finn & Zac and both families.

 

Friday 7th October – 22:37

Meeting this evening: It is now confirmed that Mikey has grade 4 glioma. This is the most severe type of brain tumour. Mikey will slowly deteriorate from here and any distressing symptoms will be carefully managed so he has no suffering.

MDT confirms that chemo is not an option nor is any experimental drug.

The plan is palliative care in a side room (ie not a multi-bed ward) when one becomes available.

Please pray for the family to process this and cope. Also, please pray especially for Alyssa and the boys.

 

Friday 7th October – 17:26

This afternoon (around now) there is a meeting of the MDT – multidisciplinary team – which probably includes neurology, radiology, surgery, oncology, nurses and palliative care.

The conclusions will be explained at a separate meeting with the family later this evening.

Please pray that there would be some clarity on the best way forward after the evening meeting and if the next steps are still unclear, for patience.

As we are entering this unexpected ‘holding’ phase, please also pray for many great gospel opportunities.

Remember Mikey said on Sunday afternoon just after arriving in hospital, “God will use this for good.” Pray that will be increasingly true.

 

Friday 7th October – 07:26

Alyssa just sent me a message asking everyone to please pray the following for her.

She wrote… “I now think my challenge will be trying to decipher what it means to love Mikey, in sickness and in health (in semi-consciousness, inability to remember-ness and in dying-ness)”

 

Friday 7th October – 07:00

Good news on Zac: the doctor was happy to send him home just before 2am. He has bronchiolitis which usually lasts about a week. They did an x-ray – all good!

 

Thursday 6th October – 18:35

Little Zac, Alyssa’s youngest is not very well. The GP has just said that his breathing needs to be checked out at a hospital. He is being taken there right now by Alyssa’s older sister, Jocelyn.

Please pray for Zac and for Alyssa!

 

Thursday 6th October – 18:02

All are agreed that the childcare provided for Finn and Zac by the church family has been amazing so far. Thank you all involved!

Going forward and starting as soon as possible, Alyssa would prefer some sort of continuity for the children. If you know of a Christian nanny (or similar) who could work Mon-Fri, 12pm – 7pm, please email my wife, Carrie on [email protected] or send her a direct message.

 

Thursday 6th October – 17:39

Mikey has been moved out of intensive care and into a ward with multiple beds. In terms of awareness, he is slightly more aware than yesterday (although we have little idea of how much he remembers or understands). He has become increasingly agitated this afternoon. The multi bed ward is far from satisfactory. Less private and less comfortable. Alyssa is finding this unplanned state of ‘holding’ highly distressing. It is unclear what ongoing care for Mikey looks like. The doctors – who are now not so readily available – are unable to be specific about a timeline.

This is again so different to the narrative that we were assured of for the first 72 hours. Please pray for patience and ongoing trust in the Lord’s goodness despite this highly challenging development.

 

Wednesday 5th October – 17:52

Mikey has been taken off the ventilator. He understands the questions he is being asked and responds with simple movements or occasionally a word. We are not sure how much his memory has been affected by the trauma so far, nor is it clear if his short term memory is working. He is calm and exhausted. A recent CT scan has again confirmed that the brain tumour is vast, inoperable and incurable.

This is not an easy state for anyone to deal with but this is the situation that we find ourselves in. We all must continue to trust the Lord. Previous prayer requests remain the same. See Group Description above for details.

 

Wednesday 5th October – 10:43

High levels of steroids, a lightened dose of sedation and ongoing ventilation means that Mikey is in a semi-conscious state. He is able to hear and responds with simple movements to questions. This does not mean he is recovering. The situation is certainly incurable.

Whilst we haven’t been given any reason for hope, the current situation means the trajectory we thought we were on yesterday has been slowed down.

To be clear – this development has actually made things harder not easier for Alyssa and the family.

 

Tuesday 4th October – 17:08

There have been some very difficult conversations taking place about the wisdom of continuing with life prolonging treatment or not.

Alyssa has asked that we please pray that the Lord would take Mikey home soon.

 

Tuesday 4th October – 12:04

We’ve just heard from the lead surgeon. They have taken a smear from the biopsy which has given a very strong indication that Mikey has the worst type of brain tumour. They will not proceed with further surgery.

It is possible that Mikey will be taken off the ventilator and then there is a very small hope that he might come around so that goodbyes can be said.

The family esp Alyssa found the latest news especially hard.

We are all finding verses from Psalm 23, John 10 and John 14 comforting.

Please pray on

 

Tuesday 4th October – 09:18

There is a new medical team in place now. Mikey has been sedated and so not in any pain. He should be having a biopsy around now. There should be more information soon. Pray that Alyssa will be wise when asked to make very difficult decisions. Pray on for all the usual things too. Thank you so much!

 

Tuesday 4th October – 04:16

By 2.30am they had wired a pressure monitor into the top of Mikey’s head. Soon after he had another CT scan (apparently an MRI is not possible with the pressure monitor).

At 3am he was moved to ICU. Doctors say, no change.

Jocelyn is now with Alyssa who is getting some rest/sleep.

 

Monday 3rd October – 22:42

Mikey has arrived in King’s and the doctors there are not clear exactly what is going on in Mikey’s head. They want to investigate further and will do another MRI and possibly a biopsy in the morning. They are about to sedate him and move him to an ICU ward.

Please pray on for him and that Alyssa, Kirsten and Fitzy get some rest in the hospital tonight.

 

Monday 3rd October – 20:41

The medical team are clear – post MRI it still looks like an inoperable brain tumour. He is however being transferred to King’s. They have a specialist team in place who want to make their own assessment and decide if anything else can possibly be done.

Most of the family have now headed home. I will let you know anything else I hear. Thanks for continued prayers!

 

Monday 3rd October – 18:18

We are still waiting to hear the detailed results post MRI. I was told 30 mins ago by the lead consultant that results are being reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team. He was so helpful but made it clear that he would not have any positive news.

Mikey is not able to communicate in normal ways. We are confident that he can hear as occasional squeezes of the hand to Alyssa or his parents are in response to specific questions. We are reading him some well known passages like Psalm 23, John 14, Romans 8 and others.

Finn and Zac spent some time with Mikey a few hours ago and are now being looked after by other church family.

The expectation is hours rather than days but we are not sure.

Thanks for your prayers. Please pray on for Mikey and Alyssa and their immediate families who are all here too.

 

Monday 3rd October – 15:03

Mikey is in another MRI at the moment. We should know the full picture soon.

Family have arrived at the hospital. Some still coming.

Finn and Zac will come in briefly with Carrie shortly.

 

Monday 3rd October – 13:41

I’ve just had a call from the Consultant looking after Mikey. The situation is not good. Mikey is not aware and not responding much at the moment.

The Consultant has asked for family to come and see Mikey today. I am at the hospital and will let you know any developments. Please urgently pray.

 

Monday 3rd October – 02:01

You’ll be aware Mikey has been quite unwell recently. This afternoon things got worse and I drove him and Alyssa to the hospital. Here is the most recent update…

Alyssa wrote…

They have found some lesions on the front of his brain with swelling, hence the symptoms. They will start him on steroids immediately for the swelling. They don’t know what’s causing them or if benign/cancerous. They will keep him in for a few days at least to do more tests and scans, including full body to see if more lesions elsewhere. They have contacted King’s as they have the neurological team and eventually he will be handed over to their care. They will move him to a ward soon and I will have to go. He is trusting the Lord and v keen to sleep. We trust the Lord’s mighty Hand, who alone gives and takes away.

Rick and Lulu (Mikey’s parents) are now looking after Finn and Zac. Alyssa has just arrived back and has asked me to let a group know what’s happening –

Feel free to contact Alyssa but she asked me to say she might not respond personally. She’ll let me know the latest so that we can all pray and perhaps give support as and when.

Some are asking about prognosis. It’s too early to say but tomorrow they will do lots more tests and I or Carrie will update this group