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TOPIC: Gaj - gone but not forgotten

Gaj - gone but not forgotten 5 months 1 week ago #27676

  • DrJames
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Just over a year ago, on the 22nd of January 2018 to be precise, our long-time moderator Gaj passed away in the Alfred Hospital from complications of Hepatitis C.

He was a friend, confidant, and supporter to many here. He was active on the forum for a long time, but I remember when his black and white avatar changed to colour the first time he got to end of treatment undetected...




Sadly that did not stick and we had to retreat and, at what should have been celebration time - SVR12, the undetected news was blighted by a shadow - the shadow of that went on to steal him from us.

Gaj was one of the good guys.

He's gone but he's not forgotten.

His name was Guy.

Guy's not the first friend I've lost, but, hopefully, he's the last.

Some years ago I lost a friend in a Hang Gliding accident. It felt like this then, and it feels like this now...

I still recall the night last year
The mate upon the phone
There’s something in the voice I hear
Just chills me to the bone

You hear ‘bout Nick Dillane today?
Comes crackling down the line
Such simple words, said in a way
Just knew he wasn’t fine

It seems that he was towing
In winds a little strong
And there’s no way of knowing
Exactly what went wrong

I hear the words wash over me
And a tear grows in my eye
Lockout…downwind…no release
No chance to say goodbye

Well it’s nearly been a year today
Since I’ve seen his smiling face
Still seems like only yesterday
That he stood here in this place

Well I know that I won’t see him
And I know that he is gone
But as long as I’m still breathin’
His memory will live on

So now I’d ask, you charge your glass
And just be glad we met him
Let’s drink to Nick, whose time has passed
I know I won’t forget him
YMMV
Last Edit: 5 months 1 week ago by DrJames.
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 5 months 1 week ago #27677

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Was truly touched by your post.

You've saved a lot of lives here, Doc. Was on my last legs physically when I arrived here ( test results bore witness to that), and won't forget the kindness, compassion, courage, and professionalism you share here every day.

I'll proudly join you in raising a glass to Gaj, to Nick, and to the friends we've lost along the way and will always remember.
Failed Interferon 96', G1a, VL = 9 - 5.5 Million, F3/A3, AST 111, ALT 190, Generic DAA treatment Sof/Led (Mylan - India MYHEP LVIR) - 8 June, 2016
2 Week Results 20 June, 2016 AST 19, ALT 32
4 Week Results 06 July, 2016 AST 22, ALT 30, VL = 35
6 Week Results 20, July 2016 VL only = HCV RNA Detected, Non-Quantifiable <15
8 Week Results 04 August 2016, Labs, LFTs Normal, VL = UND
12 Week Results 31 August, 2016 LFTs Normal, VL = UND
EOT + 4 Weeks, LFTs Normal, VL = UND, "SVR4"
SVR12, 21 Nov 2016. CURED!!!
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 5 months 1 week ago #27678

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Thanks for this post. Pretty much every time I open this forum I think of Guy, and what he was like, and how the world needs people like him more than ever.

We started treatment nearly the same day, his first time round. He kind of towered here for his rational, compassionate style. And he slipped away with no comment on the hand he was dealt. Many people were encouraged through their dark days by him.
Genotype 3 30 years, 2x treatment interferon/ribavirin non responder. Cirrhosis 17 years. Fibroscan, decompensating, 40 down to 22 by 29/3/16- now down to 6.5, normal, no cirrhosis. Started Buyers Club Sof/Dac 14 Nov 15. SVR 12 29/0716
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 5 months 1 week ago #27679

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Guy was one of the most influential contributors of FixHepC website. For all newbies check out his threads and posts. They are informative and from the heart. He is gone but still cherished from everyone he advised and helped....we all miss him.
contracted Gen 1a in the 70's, dx in 2007...ast 27 to 35...alt 43 to 96...vl 1.2 mil to 8.6 mil.
biopsy F-2 (2012)..pre tx results 1/23/16 ast 32, alt 46, vl 3.1 mil
tx started 2/11/16.... lab results 2/24/16 ast 18, alt 18, vl <15 IU/ml
28 days later.............lab results 3/9/16 ast 21, alt 21, vl UND
56 days later.............lab results 4/6/16 ast 20, alt 22, vl UND
139 days later...........lab results 6/29/16 ast 28, alt 30, vl UND...EOT
SVR24
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 5 months 6 days ago #27681

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Thanks Dr James for the tribute to Gaj and your friend Nick. I also think of Gaj when I sign in. I commented when he left us that it is almost hard to explain the impact that he had on this forum and on me personally. He was a calm and compassionate voice throughout my long treatment. Here's to Gaj.
G1a probably early 1980's, Biopsy F1(2010), F2-F3(2015). VL 5+mill; 2+mill (2014) Tx naive. Accessed Sof/Led through Dr Freeman at GP2U and Buyers Club (lifesavers!!!)
Commenced tx 12/11/15. 9 wk: VL <15 Detected but LFT = Normal 12 week results: UND (Yay!) Due to slow response commenced Sof/Dac 4 Feb for 12 weeks. EOT @ 24 weeks 27 April 2016. (With thanks to Dr Freeman et al). SVR11 result: VL 1,950,000. It's back!
New tx 030916 (Viekira Pak, Solvadi, Ribavirin UND @ 111116. EOT 170217.
SVR12 and SVR 24...
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 4 months 2 weeks ago #27736

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I haven't posted much here since Gaj left us, but I recall he was one of the people who made this place a gathering of friends not yet met rather than a bunch of patients. I often entertained the idea of catching up with him to go fishing but sadly that was not to be.
He was definitely one of the good guys.
M 61yo HCV+ ~ 30 yrs Gt1a F2 VL 223,000 ALT 54 AST 42 Tx start Sof/Dac 17Dec15.
SVR4 at 7Apr16 ALT 22 AST 22
SVR12 at 9Jun16 ALT 23 AST 25
Melbourne, Australia
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 4 months 2 weeks ago #27737

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Hi sonix,

Nice to hear from you. How are you travelling post Hep C?

Gaj was definitely one of the good guys, and like you say, he did a great job of bringing people together into a community.

Best Wishes.

James
YMMV
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 4 months 2 weeks ago #27738

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Hi DrJames, great to see you're carrying on with your precious work. You are indeed one of the good guys too. ;)

Post treatment I'm definitely feeling better in a few ways but still suffering from old bloke maladies (64 now). Less muscle cramps, shivers/flushes, and skin is much clearer with almost none of that seborrhoeic dermatitis I used to have.
I still have a level of chronic anxiety but it's less than before. A more comfortable living situation helps that I'm sure. Had a bout of depression last year after I had to put my cat to sleep because of a nasty cancer but over that. A virus around new years almost flattened me with a subsequent bronchitis taking 2 courses of antibiotics to clear. I think it took a couple of months to recover from the antibiotics!
Eating well (ish), swimming, walking, cycling regularly and hardly drinking any alcohol. Also haven't had a cigarette for 6 months after taking up vaping. I highly recommend vaping as it's the only thing that worked after over 40 years of smoking. Overall a fairly positive outcome.
I don't recall if I had a test after SVR24 so I might ask for one when I go see a GP on Tuesday for a general health checkup. I think it's about 3 years since end of treatment.

Thanks for asking and it prompted me to actually do a health stocktake. I hope the skies are clear and life is rosy for you too!
M 61yo HCV+ ~ 30 yrs Gt1a F2 VL 223,000 ALT 54 AST 42 Tx start Sof/Dac 17Dec15.
SVR4 at 7Apr16 ALT 22 AST 22
SVR12 at 9Jun16 ALT 23 AST 25
Melbourne, Australia
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Gaj - gone but not forgotten 4 months 1 week ago #27749

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Dear Gaj (Guy)
I just wanted to tell you that as long as this forum stands you will forever be immortalized...... by your helping hands.... by your encouraging notes when we were down at our lowest points......by your incredible attitude of never bringing focus to yourself or discussing your own problems! You always helped those in need.

They say when your good you never have to say it, so we’ll continue to say it for you.

May God be with you always.
Contracted HCV 1980's
Geno Type 1a
F3 ( doc says once treated I'll be F2 maybe F1)
Meds shipped 6/17/2016 arrived early 7/2016

Viral count - 3,471,080

4 week quantitative bloods: August 17, 2016. I have been diagnosed as <15 (told undetected)

8 week quantitative bloods: September 14th. I have been diagnosed as <15 (told undetected)

11 week PCR RNA Qualitative bloods: September 26th 2016 - Undetected

December 19th 2016: Cured!
Viral count: zero!!!
2018 viral count: still zero!
Cured!
Last Edit: 4 months 1 week ago by Sven. Reason: Grammar
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