The Fragility Of Life

The Fragility Of Life.

Henry had just turned 30 and was planning to marry Janice in a year’s time. He enjoyed his work in his chosen field of computer technology with a large telecommunications company. He rose quickly in the ranks and was in charge of a dynamic team that oversaw the company’s computer security system. It was a 24-hour on call job; when he was on leave, he still had to review security reports on a daily basis. Despite his commitment to his job, Janice was supportive of his long and intense working hours.

One evening, the company’s computer system alerted an attempted hacking penetration. Henry was immediately notified by one of his colleagues on duty. His whole team was instantly summoned to handle the crisis, working through the night and early morning. The intrusion was not the company’s first, but it was it’s most serious in terms of the extent of incursion. The next couple of weeks continued to be hectic as recovery and audit assessments were internally conducted. Orientations were held throughout the firm for the staff, department by department, on computer security disciplines. The incident took its toll on Henry as his anxiety level increased noticeably. Within 30 days of the last hacking, he was woken up early one morning and told of another more aggressive attack. Individual team members’ leave was cancelled indefinitely, as the intense routine of coping with this assault went into high gear. External consultants were called in as the company sought to move on. In the midst of these meetings, in the company’s boardroom, Henry was in the midst of a presentation on an afternoon, when he suddenly collapsed. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

Henry was warded for over a month as his stroke had handicapped his mobility and partially impaired his speech. He had no prior medical history of this condition. When he presented for counselling several months later with Janice, he was unemployed, anxious, severely depressed and suicidal. However, he was ambulant and although his speech was slow, his prognosis was altogether rather positive. Janice had got over her initial shock at Henry’s situation but had decided that she would stick by him, and together they would work through their rough patch. It was understandable that Henry was totally devastated by his stroke, and that the future they had envisaged and planned toward so carefully was now in near ruins. One of the issues that surfaced for Henry, in hindsight, and with much regret, was his utter devotion to his job, which obviously brought him a lot of satisfaction, to the exclusion of his own health and relationships with his family members, Janice, and other friends. At his age, he thought he was invulnerable to certain health issues and undoubtedly did not think that his strained physiology would one day catch up with him, as he pressed it beyond its tolerable limits. Thankfully, his stroke was a warning sign for him as he recovered sufficiently to re-enter the workforce, but at a much slower pace of life than previously. Henry still walks with a limp, although his speech has improved remarkably. He and Janice eventually got married and they have a beautiful little girl.