Stranded in London – at Christmastime!

In Dealing With Monsters by Jeff PeytonLeave a Comment

Jeff: So here we are, in London, Days longer than planned. And in a London hospital, no less. No Winter Wonderland at Hyde park for us. Pancreatic attack will ruin your trip that way.

I suppose that’s the life. When you spend on average one week per month on the road, something like this is bound to happen eventually. We just figured it would happen to me. ;=) After all, everyone who knows Laura knows she is the most hearty traveler least likely to get sick, ever.

(She’s also something of an over-achiever. She couldn’t opt for a cold or flu now, could she?)

It started Tuesday morning, as Laura and I were boarding the EuroStar for a client meeting in France. Indigestion, she said. Rolaids to the rescue.

But the relatively short train ride (we were only going three stops) afforded her the opportunity to, well, recycle Monday night’s dinner. Repeatedly. She ultimately missed the client meeting altogether.

When we got back to London, she opted to nap in her hotel room while I grabbed some dinner. But a short while later, it was obvious something was wrong. Very wrong. Shortly after a brief conversation with our hotel concierge, an ambulance transported Laura to the hospital.

We’ve been here ever since.

So much for a quick hop across the pond.

The good news is that Laura is making an excellent, if slow, recovery. Vagaries of the British National Health System aside (this isn’t Hershey Medical Center!), they are taking excellent care of her, and she is mending as fast as we could hope for, given the circumstances.

The bad news is that being grounded here has caused a ripple effect, affecting clients and staff. The last two weeks of the year are always a time of celebration at Tin Cans, and this year that celebration has been double-dampened – first by Laura’s illness and second by the sudden re-arranging of, well, just about everything.

But more good news – the team back home is outstanding. We couldn’t ask for better support. Despite several thousand miles and a 5-hour time delay, it really feels like we’re just down the street.

Laura: There are two things you need to know about the Canners in general.

One, they are a highly organized and resourceful bunch. As soon as the call went out, Deb, Jenn, Chad and Tim launched into motion, canceling and remaking plans, dealing with clients, tightening up anything that needed tightening in our extended absence.

Two, they are great at praying. I know. I can feel their prayers – and the prayers of other family and friends – cruising across the Atlantic in my direction.

Now, Peyton – that’s another story. When asked, as I have been repeatedly – How do you find such a great business partner? How do you two work so well together? – I usually come up with something trite about similar lifestyles and business goals (and we do share all of that). But ask yourself these questions:

Would your business partner literally drag you off the floor and into an ambulance at 1 am?

Would your business partner put his Christmas plans with his wife and daughter on hold to hold your hand in a foreign country?

Would your partner really be there when the chips are down, when you are flat on your back in the hospital, fluffing pillows, getting endless cups of ice, advocating for you with the British health system?

Mine does. And no, you can’t have him.

Jeff Peyton
Don’t be fooled by Jeff’s accomplishments in communications, crisis and business management. He also wing-walked on an airplane at 700 feet, co-piloted the Goodyear Blimp and swam with sharks – and still managed to obtain paperwork officially declaring him “legally sane.” Really.

Leave a Comment