a dear friend of ours (Sariet) sadly lost her husband on Saturday afternoon. Sariet’s husband 32 year old Robert Sinclair Davidson was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Motor Neurone Disease. This is a rapidly progressive degenerative disease that attacks the motor nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, eventually resulting in the complete cessation of all muscular function. This happens whilst all cognitive function remains intact. This means being entirely aware but unable to move. It is a terminal diagnosis.
In Rob’s case the decline was particularly rapid, within 2 months Rob lost the ability to talk and within 5 months was unable to walk. He passed away after just 20 months. Rob displayed unparalleled bravery and was determined to make the most of his situation. He always tried to infuse the room with laughter even during the most difficult and undignified moments. He was always determined to never be defeated by this disease and set up his own charity to help support others with MND. He was an inspiration for all who met him and was truly a Great Man. But as the saying goes, behind every great man, is a great woman.
In the face of one of life’s most unimaginable challenges, Sariet displayed the bravery, generosity, resilience and care that will serve to teach us all what it means to love and be loved.
Twenty months ago, Sariet lost the future she seemed destined to have. The day after receiving the news Sariet started to cry and said “but he promised me we’d grow old together.” Instead of breaking, Sariet stood up and NEVER let Rob see her cry. Married for just 1 and a half years before diagnosis they had only touched on the experiences they wanted to share. The couple rushed to have a baby and Baruch Hashem 9 months later, the chubby, little, beautiful Maya Belle was born. It was a difficult birth with many complications. Maya was everything Rob dreamed of even though his illness prevented him from holding, bathing, or cuddling her. Despite these barriers, Sariet created countless opportunities for Rob to bond with her.
Throughout her pregnancy and for 11 months after,
Sariet never stopped physically caring for both her husband and her baby, often only sleeping a couple hours a night as she was torn between night feeds and caring to Robs needs. She fought bureaucracy to provide Rob with everything he needed, including specialist equipment, converting the accommodation to meet his needs and 24 hour support. All in order for Rob to continue to share his life with his family for as long as possible.
One of the things Rob appreciated the most was Sariet’s ability to continue being the same smiling, happy, and nagging wife he married. Indeed, his knickname for Sariet was “Madam”, a term he would use lovingly.
Rob has now left us. BH Sariet and Maya are surrounded by people who love them, but they need your help!
Having been left heavily in debt to pay for their wedding in Israel, at the time of diagnosis they were still renting, and any remaining funds went to supporting Rob. Unfortunately Rob had no life insurance. Sariet has been unable to work for 14 months due to her responsibilities as a wife, mother, and carer and will likely need more time off to cope with the bereavement. She does not know how she is going to pay rent, child care, and bills.
For 20 months, she has never thought about herself.
For 20 months she continually put others’ needs before her own.
For 20 months she continuously grew and developed herself into being the person he needed her to be.
For 20 months she lovingly escorted her husband through his final chapter.
For 20 months she became the embodiment of loving-kindness and showed the world how to give.
Hashem has presented us with an opportunity for a huge Kiddush Hashem. HUGE. We have the power to transform a widow and an orphan’s future.
Let us walk in Hashem’s ways.
Let us make Sariet and Maya’s transition back to normalcy as smooth as possible.
Let us help give her daughter the life she needs and the life Rob so desperately wanted to give her.
Let us use this opportunity to follow Sariet’s example, and give as she gave.
Even a small donation from enough people can make a big difference.
There is a “go fund me” page set up for people to donate if you would like to make a donation.
“Our biggest condolences go to Rob’s family including of course his wife Sariet and daughter Maya.”
Though Rob is no longer with us the Robert Sinclair Davidson Foundation is just getting started.