My colleague and friend Jonathan Bartley, who was due to speak and perform at the Greenbelt festival tomorrow (Monday 30 August 2010), has very regretfully had to pull out of the festival due to his son's serious illness.
Samuel, who has conditions associated with spina bifida and some cerebral palsy, has been unwell for four weeks now, and has had to undergo a serious operation in hospital to replace his arteriovenus shunt, the passage by which a bodily fluid (in this case, from the brain) is diverted from one channel to another. The condition is hydrocephalus.
The latest news is that Samuel is going downhill again, and Jon naturally needs to be with him and with the family at this time. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them all, I know.
The sessions impacted are the Faith in Politics panel at 11.15am on 30 August, looking at 'What's wrong with our political system? (And how can we fix it?)' and 'The long adventure of rebellion: say goodbye to political apathy' (youth panel) at 5pm that day. Jonathan was also due to be wielding the drum sticks with his band The Mustangs on the music stage.
The latest festival info from Greenbelt can be found here: http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/festival/