Terry and Yvonne Conrs' life was turned upside down the day their 18-year-old son Ben refused to go to work, for apparent reason. He was eventually diagsed with a severe mental illness. And one would ever look at him in the same way again. Even though, beneath it all, he was the same, easy-going, lovable Ben. It's a moving story of despair and tears. And then hope and laughter. There are the Great Escapes, as Ben slips unseen from hospital and then his carer. The time he catches a train to London, checks into a posh hotel, and enjoys a bowl of fruit and a hot bath before his bank card is rejected; the dead-of-night he battles along an old overgrown track to get home, sploshing through a stream, and narrowly missing a dangerous little ravine, just in case the NHS had unleashed its tracker dogs. Throw in the customary trial-and-error nature of his medication, caring staff determined to return Ben to independence, and parents who would never give up on him, and you have a story that will bring tears to your eyes and an occasional smile to your lips.
Author Terry Connors and his wife were living a perfectly normal life, with a normal nuclear family of one daughter and one son, in a normal three-bedroom house in a quiet village in the east of England. And then, out of nowhere, Ben was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This is the story of how they coped. How they had to cope. Terry wrote it partly as catharsis; partly to help those normal families who, day in and day out, suddenly find themselves in the same, bewildering, frightening position. And to tell the world: paranoid schizophrenics are not dangerous lunatics, but normal people with an illness.