Although Revd Keulemans is an avid football fan and England supporter, this is no mere World Cup gimmick, however. Just over a week ago, he underwent neurosurgery in London to remove an extradural haematoma from his brain. On his way to a conference in the capital, he had suffered a seizure and fell and cracked his head on the pavement. He was rushed off unconscious to hospital where, as he describes it, “The wonderful people of our great NHS at the Royal London Hospital then worked their magic with me. Ward 12E has the best and most diligent nurses, doctors and auxiliaries you could possibly imagine!
“The upshot is that last Monday evening, I came round after brain surgery, in my bed on the ward, just as Harry Kane scored the winner against Tunisia!”
Revd Keulemans is now safely home and continuing to recover from brain injury – and he is determined to raise as much money as he can in honour of the people who prayed for him and helped him towards such a rapid recovery.
“I have a largely unwanted beard as a result of not being able to shave whilst in the hospital,” he wrote in an email to friends and the staff and pupils at Shrewsbury School last weekend. “If you collectively donate a grand or more before Monday, I will gladly have the beard dyed the national colours of the most generous nation and keep it thus until England get knocked out of the World Cup. All funds raised are to go to Headway, the brain injury charity.”
He met that target within hours of sending the message. The total he has raised now stands at almost £2,800, once HM Treasury have chipped in their few penn’orth.
True to his word, he headed off to The Barber Shop in Shrewsbury, natural habitat of dapper gents, where Vernon Page spent an hour of his Tuesday dying Revd Keuleman’s beard in the red and white of England. Revd Keulemans and his family have spent several years living and working in Scotland, and as that was the second most voted-for nation in his online appeal, he asked Vernon to add an extra blue stripe.
Revd Keulemans and Headway are greatly appreciative of the many generous donors and especially of the time and friendly support given to the fundraiser by Vern at the Barber Shop.
He is still gathering money for Headway UK, a charity that supports brain injury survivors and their families: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=AndyKuulemans&pageUrl=1
The page will be open for donations until England are knocked out of (or preferably win) the World Cup.