Mr Henry Mulligan
Dr Vernon Coleman
Long before I became old myself I had great affection for elderly folk. I felt that in hospitals, nursing homes and care homes in particular the older patients were often unappreciated, frequently treated without respect and regarded as subhuman. Too many members of staff regarded the elderly as disposable and irrelevant. (It is, of course, this attitude which made the mass murder of the elderly easy to arrange in 2020 and 2021.)
And so, for example, it annoyed me when I heard seventy and eighty-year-olds being addressed by their Christian names, as though they were children or in some way second-class citizens.
And because I always tried to talk to my patients, and find out a little about their lives, I knew that no one ever lives an uninteresting life.
So, I wrote a novel about an old man who was dying. His name was Mr Henry Mulligan and he disappeared from the geriatric ward of a large hospital in the English midlands. His wife, who was suffering from Alzheimerís disease, disappeared with him.
The story is written in the first person and it is based on a true story (though it isnít, strictly speaking, autobiographical) and the `authorí is a young, newly qualified doctor who works in the hospital concerned. He is fond of the couple and decides to try to find them.
His search proves more of a challenge than he had expected and becomes something of a mystery story. The doctor discovers that he didnít know as much about Mr Henry Mulligan as he thought he did.
Only be uncovering some well hidden secrets can the young doctor find the missing couple and solve the mystery.
It is a fairly short, easy to read story which I remember I wrote in two weeks in our apartment in Paris. I hardly moved from the keyboard for the whole two weeks and the story pretty much wrote itself. By the time I neared the end of the book, hammering the keyboard as fast as I could to get the story down, tears were pouring down my cheeks. I was, I remember, quite drained when Iíd finished it.
If youíd like a copy you can find `Mr Henry Mulliganí on Amazon.
Copyright Vernon Coleman April 2023