The Stockholm Concert Hall was packed with the leading figures in the world of science, medicine and the arts.
The president of the Nobel Prize committee mounted the rostrum and gazed around the sea of faces, all waiting eagerly to discover on whom the honours had been bestowed this year.
After presenting the awards in several categories, the president said, 'The next award is the Nobel Prize for Medicine. There have been a number of worthy candidates this year but, after careful consideration, the committee has awarded the gold medal to Professor James Carstairs, PhD, F.M.B.S(Oxon) MB Chem, B Med MD, professor of Clinical Neurology, for his pioneering work in the field of Alzheimers Disease and other forms of dementia.
The whole world owes a debt of gratitude to the professor for his untiring efforts resulting in a much wider knowledge of this subject. His research has led to a more effective form of treatment with a marked increase of quality of life for sufferers. While, unfortunately, we still cannot cure dementia, many patients have been able to keep the more serious effects at bay for much longer.
To tumultuous applause,Professor Carstairs walked forward to receive his accolade and the large gold medal embossed with the head of Alfred Nobel.
It was 7 a.m.he had lain twisting and turning all night. He had tried hard to get to the commode but his legs just would not function.. Try as he might he could just not control his bodily functions and had lain for hours in the results of his incontinence.
He knew that it would soon be time for the carers to arrive. He never knew who they might be. There were so many different ones. He hoped it might be Pat and Mary for they had been kind and considerate to him, whereas so many had treated him with imdifference or even, sometimes, open hostility.
He could hear them talking as they opened the door. It was not Pat or Mary. He did not know them.
'Oh what a stink Mavis' Come on Gramps. Let's see what you have been up to.' She opened the bedroom door, 'Oh Cripes! the buggers shit himself. You dirty old man. Why couldn't you use the commode or pull the cord for the night staff.
He looked up at the cord. The red light was still on. Needless to say, nobody had responded.
Donning plastic aprons and rubber gloves, they proceeded to strip him of his soiiled pyjamas.
'I can't stand the smell Mavis' said Lilly the other carer. She threw open the bedroom window letting in a blast of icy cold air. He stood naked and shivering violently with cold.
While Lilly stripped the sheets, Mavis took him through to the shower room where she sat him on a stool. As usual the water was only luke- warm. She lathered him with antiseptic soap which got into his eyes and mouth and vented her anger on him by rubbing him down roughly with a hairy towel.
' I haven't got time to shave you today. Still it won't matter, no-one will see you. What do you want for your breakfast?'
'Can I have a scrambled egg.?'
'Oh! I haven't got time for that. I've got Mrs Brown in ten minutes time. You will have to make do with cornflakes'.
Leaving him shivering in the damp shower she went to fetch his wheelchair. As she was swinging it round, her arm brushed against something hanging on the wall which came to earth with a crash and a splintering of glass.
'What have you broken?' said Lilly , 'Is it a picture?'
'No.. It looks like a medal off some sorts. It's probably something to do with the war.'