Underestimate a Para at your peril.
You might think the combined force of Alzheimer's, a temperamental pacemaker, septicaemia, a water infection, ability to breath only through an oxygen mask, and the heart stopping four times would be enough to finally finish off a frail 83-year-old.
Uncle Reg's doctors certainly thought so, advising that next time his heart stopped it would not be worthwhile trying to resuscitate him once more, and that he would never be able to breath again without the mask...
Only for him to blinkingly open his eyes yesterday morning, where my mum and second cousin had been keeping a downbeat but defiant bedside vigil, before settling back into seemingly peaceful-ish slumbers again.
And now he's stable again, but without needing the mask. Of course, he's still very ill.
But putting up a damn good fight.
News in this morning from my mum: "Change the prayers..."
Apparently Auntie Ivy woke the other day, believing she saw a figure sitting in Reg's special chair at home - a vision of his mum.
Coming to collect him, she thought.
Well, she might have come for him, only to be told: "I ay comin' yet..."