Belfast Telegraph

Willie Frazer tells of fight for life in intensive care

Willie Frazer has been discharged after two weeks in hospital
Willie Frazer has been discharged after two weeks in hospital

By Lisa Smyth

Victims campaigner Willie Frazer has described how he has been battling for his life in hospital.

Mr Frazer, from Markethill in Co Armagh, spent four days in the intensive care unit at Craigavon Area Hospital after his blood pressure dropped to a dangerously low level.

However, he said he was motivated to recover to ensure he can continue to fight for the truth about a series of bloody atrocities during the Troubles.

"It was touch and go for a while, I have to admit that things didn't look good," he said.

"I went up to A&E because I didn't feel very well and they thought everything was okay, but I was back a few hours later and that's when things got really bad.

"Basically I've been waiting for an operation for my gall bladder and my blood pressure dropped and they couldn't get it back up again, so they put me in intensive care,

"I came through it all right, thankfully, but they weren't sure whether I would make it at one point, so it was very hard for the family."

Mr Frazer said his strong will kept him going.

"I have to say it's the fight that keeps you going in a situation like that," he said.

"I was speaking to my wife and pastor and I was smiling and he was asking what I was smiling for. I could hardly talk at this point and I told him there are a few things I have to finish so I wasn't going anywhere just yet.

"He told me he liked my attitude.

"At the end of the day I've made a commitment to a lot of people who have suffered an awful lot and hopefully, God willing, I will see that through before I do kick the bucket.

"Of course, you never know when that's going to happen, we could all die in the morning, but this has given me a renewed focus and made me even more determined to do what I can.

"The messages of support that me and my family have received since I went in to hospital have been incredible, so that shows I must be doing something right and I intend to continue the fight."

Mr Frazer was diagnosed with carcinoma, a type of cancer, nine years ago and he believes his recent period of ill health is linked to the disease.

He continued: "I have this cancer thing that can't be cured, but it can be contained - that's been going on for a number of years and the two problems would be slightly related.

"When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 they didn't think I would pull through that either.

"I'd gone into hospital and they thought I had a problem with my appendix, but when they opened me up to do the operation they found the tumour.

"I was in hospital for eight weeks that time.

"This most recent spell, I spent two weeks in hospital, but got out on Friday there and the staff were brilliant, they couldn't have done enough for me.

"I got the best treatment.

"I'm supposed to be taking it easy for a couple of months but it's hard because there is still work to be done."

Mr Frazer posted a video on Facebook after he was discharged from hospital last Friday in which he pledged to uncover the truth for victims of IRA terrorist violence.

"I will not allow terrorists to rewrite history," he said.

Mr Frazer's dad, Bertie, was a part-time UDR officer murdered by the IRA in 1975. Two of his uncles and two cousins were also killed, with one of his uncles dying just 10 days after his father.

In 2016, Mr Frazer revealed he has up to 12 death threats every day after he received a phonecall from an unknown person threatening that he and his family would be shot.

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