Commencement, ‘the end of one thing and the beginning of another’

This blog post was written on the day of Neil's death by his brother Matthew.


It is in a cloud of emotions I write my first and only entry on Neil and Louise’s blog.

This story began what feels like a very long time ago with Neil being diagnosed over a year ago now with motor neurone disease, therefore this particular story was only ever going to end with the passing of Neil's life.

It is with a very numb feeling I tell all of you that have been so caring and supportive that Neil passed away at 11:15 a.m. today.

My very brave brother was calm and at peace when he passed away, yet this was far away from what he endured in the last five days. Neil had such lust to be with his family that letting go was the hardest thing I have ever had to watch anyone do. It is such a relief to know that he no longer has to go through the daily torture and Louise and the rest of his family and friends can rest now in the knowledge that Neil was without a doubt so humbled by the care that everyone showed him.

Neil has left a huge void in so many of our lives. Please take with you the reason for this is that his amazing character couldn’t help but leave an impression and his passion for life always outweighed whatever he would have had to go through at his end.

With the end of Neil’s life now here it is, as it has been all the way through, in stark contrast the beginning of his son Oscar’s life. It is at this point I feel it poignant to remind everyone the reason Neil and Louise began this very publicised journey. That is to raise awareness of this forgotten illness and fight to find a cure for not only Oscar but any other person who may one day have to face this.


As a final word on behalf of all Neil’s family, I would like to thank all his nursing staff, doctors, family and friends, and all the people that extended Neil the best emotional relief he could have been given, that was your kind words and love.

Love as always
Neils family x

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Showing 5 reactions

commented 2013-06-25 19:48:28 +0100
I heard this the other day and hope it provides the same comfort it did me; ’ a person only ever dies when the last person who knows them dies’
commented 2013-06-25 19:32:05 +0100
A loving and tender moment.
commented 2013-06-25 16:56:23 +0100
These were the original comments in response to Matthew’s blog post at the time:

February 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm
Neil.. and family ,

Thinking of you always.
Neil will be sadly missed and has certainly has left a void in everyones life.
I hope all the family find comfort in knowing he passed away peacefully.
I feel honoured to have been part of such a wonderful family. To have shared special times with you and laughed (lots) with you.
Special memories that no amount of time could take away from us and times that will never be repeated.
No matter how much time passed by, there will always be a special place in my heart for you.
Thankyou for being wonderful you.
Will miss you forever,

All my love and tears.

Linzi. xx

lindsey fear
February 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm
Dear all
I am so sorry to hear this news. Even though I knew it was coming I still burst into tears on reading it. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you especially Louise, Oscar, Matt and Lynn at this difficult time. Keep being strong and keep fighting. Thank you for letting me be a

February 25, 2009 at 6:06 pm
RIP my friend.

Sincerest condolences to you Matt, Lynn and Louise. With a large brandy in one hand i raise a toast to Neil and to quote the immortal words of Roger Moore… ‘Well… Here’s to you’.

Love and affection

Tim, Sophie & Thomas x

Brian in Geneva
February 25, 2009 at 6:07 pm
Good bye Neil. You were such an inspiring guy. You were loved.

February 25, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Today the sun shines a little less brightly in the sky. Today, I have cried, and no doubt will do so again. But from tomorrow, I will live my life with renewed vigour, I will greet my friends and family with renewed love, and will seize every opportunity that comes my way, firmly with both hands. That is my promise to you.

Until we meet again.

Love, light, and peace,


Rick Stefanski
February 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm
Dear Matthew

I am truly devastated for you, your mum, Louise, and Oscar, and all of the family

I will raise a glass in my old pal’s honour this evening and wish him on his way to a better place.

He has for sure left a big hole, and I will never forget him.

All my love


lindsey fear
February 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Dear all
I am so sorry to hear this news. Even though I knew it was coming I still burst into tears on reading it. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you especially Louise, Oscar, Matt and Lynn at this difficult time. Keep being strong and keep fighting. Although I knew Neil from school, thank you for letting me be a part of this phase in your lives and your struggle via this blog. I have been greatly touched and am going to endevour to spread the word about MND and the need for a cure.
Love as always, Lindsey, Andy, Megan and Jack xxxxxxxxx

February 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Bravo, encore.
Just in case you get the chance Neil.

Room 101 or blog 101, facing our worst fears.
Did we really thing we would live forever.
I’m not a betting man but I’ll wager the bookies would only give us a 50/50 chance of surviving tomorrow.

Neil started a wave, a wave that has in fact, with the help of his family, friends and internet reverberated around the whole world.
BUT we all know that stones thrown in to a pond will eventually dissipate.

Neil is/ was a wordsmith, he chose his words carefully,
to make his point.
Oxford English dictionary.
(Platitude, trite and common place phrase, worn out by constant repartition.

You will never save the world from you armchair, not unless you get MND of cause.

Neil and many others are hear to teach us all, life is not about where we finish but how we finish. (please see video link)

Life will never let us get even so you better get angry, but make it a positive anger, make it charged you in to action, in to doing something, like getting off your ass and motivating people.

we all have the chance to turn Neil’s wave in to a tsunami, one bigger than all of us, I’m sure all of us that knew Neil and his family personally, where sceptical about contacting others, but now is the time to send this message around the globe to use the net for us and get Neil and people like Neil’s message out there. Send this message to every man and his dog, and to the fleas on the dog, and the bugs on the fleas.

We owe this to Neil to turn this snowball in to an avalanche, one that can not and will not be ignored.

With all my love always,
Neil. X

February 25, 2009 at 6:18 pm
Wonderful words, Matt. I know he’d be proud of you all.

Goodnight, mate. Like Tim, I shall be raising a glass. Why? Because it’s what you would have done. We’re all still in the pub. You’ve moved to the better one withh the velvet rope up the road.

I will miss you. I’m glad you found your way peacefully. Sleep well, until we meet again.

Deepest love and sympathies to Louise, Lynne, Matt and all of the Platts and Nobles.

Love always,


February 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm
At reading this, I burst into tears. I dont know you, but felt like I did. I just want to say thank you to Neil and his family for writing this blog and to raise awareness for MND. It is a terribly cruel and horrible disease and something has got to be done to find a cure. My aunt died of MND and only know too well what it is like.
Thank you to Neil for being such an inspirational and witty man – Im thinking of yous all at this sad time x x

February 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm
To Neil, wherever you now reside!

Thank you for all that you have given to us, for the time and effort you gave to the world at large, that meant a little less for those you held so dear. Despite the inherent cruelty and unfairness of your situation, you retained a marvellous sense of humour, and continued to express concern for those you loved most. You allowed us a ringside view of the progression of this confounding disease that has ultimately stilled the progression of your physical life, ceding your privacy in hopes of illuminating the horror that is MND so that others, in the future, might be spared the degradation that you could not escape. You are an exceptional human being, and we shall remember you as such. At last you are at peace, and whole once more, but at great cost. There are no words, so we send our love and admiration. ‘Til tomorrow!

To Louise, Oscar, and all of Neil’s family and friends:

This is the news that we have all been dreading, and the news that will take an age to reach even the boundaries of acceptance. Neil’s spirit is so vast that not even the silencing of his voice and the stillness of his proud heart will lessen his presence.

It is a great love indeed that endures the kind of physical and emotional agony that Neil did in order to remain with his family for as long as humanly possible, and an unfathomable strength that allowed him to finally let go. We are so thankful to know that he was able to slip into a pool of calm and peace as he passed from this life into whatever is beyond. Whatever he gained from the love and good wishes of all who have witnessed his life and death is small in comparison to all that he has given of himself. So, let us all honour him in the best ways possible – by pledging ourselves to the fight against MND in whatever ways we are individually and collectively able, and by living our lives as fully and presently as we possibly can. Let us love and care for each other in every moment, never allowing unimportant issues to dominate.

Louise and Oscar – words are small freight indeed in the face of such gargantuan loss, yet trust that whilst we cannot know exactly what you feel as you now must come to terms with a different life, we do understand that you will be experiencing a profound grief and sense of emptiness, even as you also feel relief at the end of Neil’s suffering. There is a multitude behind and beside you so that you need never fall.

Your grace and courage, Louise, are an example to us all, just as Neil’s grace and courage have rallied untold people and shown him to be a man of substance. Oscar will be radiant with pride when he can finally comprehend the magnitude of what you and Neil have been through together, when he has the capacity to know what fine people his parents are. Whatever life holds for him in the future, he came from a place of love and goodness, and his character is assured.

To Neil’s wider family – mother, brother; those who have witnessed the ferocity of this disease already: we are immensely sorry at the burden of grief you are being forced to carry once more. You must be greatly proud of your son/brother and your incredible daughter-in-law. Our very best wishes to you, too.

Louise, we shall continue to follow along with you, as you allow us to. The story does not end with Neil’s passing, nor does the fight against MND. There are many tomorrows before us, and Neil will be alongside you and Oscar in every one. I hope you can take comfort, however small, in the love and support that surrounds you from those close to you, and those who know you only through this portal.

We are deeply sorry. We wish you peace, and light to soften those darkest moments.

Sam (Neil’s Cousin) & Family
February 25, 2009 at 6:41 pm
I don’t know how to express the loss I am feeling right now. During our high school years together and the nights out drinking together Neil felt more like a brother than a cousin.

We had many happy times together and Neil also saw me through the sad times too.

I wish to give all my love and condolences to Louise, Oscar, Auntie Lynne and Matthew at this terrible time.

We will see you all soon.

Love Sam, Dean, Nathan, Katie & Charlotte.

Jean Haley (Lindsey Fear’s Mum)
February 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm
So sorry to hear about Neil’s passing but at least he is now free from pain and suffering. He has been such an encouragement to others by the way he handled his illness and many more people are now aware of MND as a result of NEIL’S AMAZING COURAGE!
My thoughts and prayers are with Louise,Oscar and all the family at this time.
Hope the funds raised by those supporting Neil,will soon help to find a cure for this devastating desease.
Love Jean Haley

Michelle, Tony and Maia
February 25, 2009 at 6:51 pm
To Neil’s loving family – please accept our condolences in the passing of such a courageous, funny and loving man and father. We were honoured to have met Lou and Neil at NCT and then to share in the wonderful joy of the birth of our children. He will be remembered and his campaign should not end. Love, Michelle, Ton and Maia

February 25, 2009 at 6:52 pm
I never met Neil but have been following his brave story through a mutual friend and through this truly inspirational blog. I have been praying for him and his lovely family every day and said a special one this morning that he would find peace at the end.

Auntie Margaret (ex Smith)
February 25, 2009 at 6:57 pm
Rest in Peace dear Neil. I will be forever grateful that you and Adrian finally ‘found each other’ again. God bless Louise, Oscar and of course your mum. I will be thinking of you all.
Sweet Dreams young man. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Caroline O’Toole
February 25, 2009 at 7:01 pm
Let the Angels now take your hand Neil and guide you to heaven. Louise and Oscar you have an amazing family and friends from around the UK and globe, I hope you find strength in them. To my darling friend Jill, I have shared your thoughts, emotions, fears and tears for what seems to of been toughest period in your life. I know you have been so brave and the most amazing Samaritan helping care for Neil, Louise and Oscar – you are an angel in disguise and he knew that. To darling Neil, you live on, Oscar will make you so proud and know you will be in his shadow forever more. With all my love to Neil, Louise, Oscar and all Neil’s family, take care of each other and hold each other close. Rest now Neil, Good Night darling Caroline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Danny M ’n mum Sue
February 25, 2009 at 7:04 pm
Words cannot express the sorrow and sadness felt at the loss of this very special man. Our hearts go out to all those who were close to him, especially his wonderful family who have given such love, support and strength throughtout his illness.
Heres hoping the Sheffield Institute or stem cell research will soon find a cure for MND before very long.
You won so many hearts Neil, and the memory of you will be in our thoughts for always.
Sleep peacefully you brave, wonderful man. D ‘n S

Rebecca Hall
February 25, 2009 at 7:10 pm
All my thoughts are with Louise and Oscar and Neil’s mum and brother. God Bless you all and thank you for reminding us how precious life is.

May Neil rest in peace
all love

Jennie McElligott
February 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm
My thoughts are with you Louise, Oscar, and all of Neil’s family. This blog has been such an inspiration to everyone that reads it, I find myself cherishing time with loved ones to such a greater extent then ever before.
Neil was one of the bravest men i know, for finding the courage and strength to create so much awareness for this disease and even find it in himself to throw in so many witty comments.
He will be missed by everyone.
Neil, you are greatly loved.
All my love and support to Neil’s family,
Jennie xx

Lula Stefanski
February 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm
What a sad day..

Goodbye to a beautiful, brave young man.
I shall miss you forever. Sweet dreams x

Lots of love to Louise, Oscar, Matt & Lynne x

February 25, 2009 at 7:20 pm
There is so much I want to say…

I don’t think I can or should at the moment…

I only want to send our sincere condolences and love to Louise, Lynn and Matt

To Neil I wish you the peace and rest you so deserve

B&J xx

February 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm
I met Neil and his family only twice. My heart goes out to all his family especially Louise and Matthew. All my love xx

February 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm
Hello Matt

I’ve no idea how you found the strength to put this post up. Anita and I have been thinking of you and Lynne an awful lot – that’s the bonus of hooking up with Neil & Louise again, getting the two of you as a bonus. I can’t imagine what you’re both going through right now but you are very much in our thoughts. You take care.

See you soon


February 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm
Im so proud to have been one of Neils friends – he was and is my hero and always will be – love to you Matthew (and to Lynne, Oscar and Louise and family – always!

If time has no ending then in our moment we last forever

How very fitting for such a fine young man.

I will miss you my friend – with every fibre of my being x

Jill Bickett
February 25, 2009 at 8:30 pm
Really sorry to hear of Neil’s passing today. Oscar will grow up to be very proud of his amazing parents. Thinking of you all xxx

February 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm
I can’t find the words to say how much I’ll miss you. We had so many good times that I will never forget. It was a privilege to be your friend.

Thinking of you all. God bless.

A xxxx

February 25, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Thank you Matt for such a wonderful post. I know how difficult it must have been for you. I shall raise a toast to Neil tonight.

Take care all of you. Hug each other tightly.

Lots of love Ann

Joanne Makin
February 25, 2009 at 9:57 pm
RIP Neil – never met or knew you but sitting here crying, shows how this blog has got to people. I am totally amazed how you continued to submit your thoughts on here right to the very end. That awful disease robbed you of everything apart from your sense of humour and all the love that was sent to you.

My thoughts are with your family and friends x

All that is left to say is thank you Neil, I will miss logging on to this website daily and hearing how you and your lovely family are. Every entry has been written brilliantly, I can’t even find the correct words to write this.

God bless
Joanne xxx

auntie sue
February 25, 2009 at 10:00 pm
God bless you our darling Neil, you felt more like a son to us, you will be with us always.
I know you where pleased that Adrian and I got back into one anothers lives, it also brought him back into yours, and i know it meant the world to him.
God bless Louise and our Oscar, you will be always in our thoughts.

Your Aunt and Uncle John and Sue XXX

February 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm
I am so so sad for all the family, lets fight together to get rid of this disease. But in the mean time all take care and look after yourselves , following this emotional journey. Eventhough i dont know you personally i feel as i do through Neils blog. You will be in my heart always.
Good night god bless
Lou Mc

Heather Roockley nee Mackay
February 25, 2009 at 10:39 pm
We are so sorry to hear of Neil’s passing.

Thinking of you all at this sad sad time.

Family Roockley

February 25, 2009 at 10:45 pm
travel well my friend
you have made a gigantic impression on us all

Nicola Woodman (Helen’s sister)
February 25, 2009 at 11:25 pm
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

love to you Squeeze and Oscar at this very difficult time.

Nicola x

February 25, 2009 at 11:44 pm
Thank you, Matt, for your brave entry on the blog – I know what it takes to put it down in black and white, while still feeling numb with disbelief, my elder daughter and I had to do the same on the night that our beloved husband/dad died. It’s hard but take comfort from the fact that Neil is now at peace and free from the horrors of MND at last, it is, without a doubt, the worst disease on earth to live through.

Louise, I feel for you tonight. This was something I was sent after Richard’s death, not as run-of-the mill as many of the more well known poems, but the sentiments helped me, I hope they do you too in the days to come…

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving
There is change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
For all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layer of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land
And, spotting something, reach by habit for my hand.
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

(Nicholas Evans, ‘Walk within you’ from The Smoke Jumper)

Neil will always walk within you and Oscar.

Chris and Jean Pye
February 25, 2009 at 11:44 pm
Words seems somehow an empty response for the sense of loss that we feel; even though I only knew you for such a brief time.

Neil was (and will remain) in a class of one! In the times we worked together before the diagnosis of this foul disease I looked forward to the day’s work ahead on the projects we worked on- those halcyon days in rainy Cork- those endless pints of Guinness!

Headstrong,brave,determined,very witty,professional,fair,talented, highly regarded and much loved Neil will always be remembered as one of the key members of staff and a great freind to us.

Jean, who has never met you, has been touched by your grit and determination and truely amasing humility with which you have bourne this torment.

Our hearts go out to your family- Louise and Oscar, your mother and wider family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Beatrice (from France)
February 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm
I have followed this blog for months and admired the courage and humour shown by Neil, Louise and all his family up til the very last day.

The blog should be printed as a book as it has given us so many lessons on life, just like “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Alboum.

Neil, you will remain in our hearts and memories. We will never forget you.

Reims, France

February 25, 2009 at 11:53 pm
About 4 months ago, I was told about an amazing couple and their baby, through a mutual friend I met a few years ago. I logged onto the ‘Plattitude’ website the next day and ‘met’ Neil and Louise. I have been reading every couple of days ever since.

We are often told to value our lives and all that is good in them, but that thought usually lasts for a few days, until the next ‘crisis’ occurs. Well not anymore – since hearing about Neil and Louise, everyone I’ve heard moan about their lives, or say they feel ‘down’, get given the link to this website and I know for a fact it’s made many many people re-think what they value. It has also made them realise there is this awful disease for which there has to be found a cure, quickly.

I have attempted to leave a message many times, but somehow I couldn’t find the right words. You have so many messages from very articulate people! It is a fact – you have touched the lives of people across the world who have never met you and probably never will, but who are all there for you. That’s a testament to you Louise and your gorgeous, funny and loving husband Neil.

My aunt died a few years ago in South Africa of MND. She was running marathons when she was diagnosed. Her speach went quite quickly and this seemed to be the most frustrating thing for her – communication is so very important. I am so pleased Neil got his new computer equipment and was able to make such great use of it.

Louise, you are truly an unbelievable woman – a role model for us all. My love to you at this really difficult time, which no doubt will be full of very mixed emotions. Take care and enjoy little Oscar as he grows.

Much love to Matt and Neil’s mum and the rest of his family and friends too. Lots of Love to Louise and Oscar.


February 25, 2009 at 11:57 pm
So sad, a very brave young man, life is not fair sometimes. My best wishes to all his family especially Louise and Oscar. R.I.P Neil

Angela Burton-Peach
February 26, 2009 at 12:03 am
Peace be with you and your family, Neil. May their love for you be the wind beneath your wings today … free at last …

Cousin Adi
February 26, 2009 at 12:04 am
My partner in crime (as we were known) rightly so I found you after so many lost years, if only any of us mortals could turn back the hands of time ! here lies the regret of the time that has passed us by, for you with the blessing of god lies a velvet cloud which is the least what a fine example of a man should endure after this painstaking period. For me, you leave a hole in my heart which is gauzed with the knowledge you are no longer in pain but at peace.

The reintroduction of our lives after so many years meant the whole world to me and I will always be inspired by the courage, personality and integrity of my big cousin.

Auntie Lynn, Matt, Louise, Oscar :-

Another step in this terrible world, we can only thank god for the time this wonderful person has spent with us, you all will be in my thoughts and may I extend my sincere condolences and a magnitude of love for our lost one.

God bless you Neil, now sleep and rest without concern.

Yours Always

Cousin Ade

elizabeth wight
February 26, 2009 at 12:07 am
Dear Matt, Lynne: no words can express the deep sadness we feel – loss of such a courageous, fun-filled, talented brother and son.
Just the list of tributes from such devoted dear friends is reflection of the delightful personality Neil showed the world!
Your loss is ours too and we grieve with you.

Dear Louise and Oscar,
Although you may feel desolate and abandoned at times – there was so much to lose in Neil – we will be there for you in every way possible
Much love to everyone from the Edinburgh & East Lothian Nobles,

elaine kirton
February 26, 2009 at 12:16 am
I know of you from the coverage on TV and this site.I lost my son to this horrendous disease ,I know only too well the loss you will all be feeling and the sense of relief that Neil is at peace.His battle is over but his spirit and inspirations must live on

February 26, 2009 at 12:29 am
Neil – I have a special place in Bondi up on the cliffs looking out to sea where I will throw you a flower and wish you well on your journey. My son says this place is where people join the angels and they will look after you.
It was an a delight to have known you and shared a very short piece of your life and my memories of you will always be of this time.

My heart goes out to your family but as they well know they are the lucky ones who got to share your life’s journey with you.

God bless and be nice to the angels


Graham Ross
February 26, 2009 at 12:33 am
Very sorry to hear the news of Neil’s passing this morning.

Our thoughts are with Neil’s family and friends – we hope you find some comfort in the messages of support and condolences at this sad time.
Graham Ross + Siobhan Vernon

February 26, 2009 at 1:06 am
I raise a toast to my mate, my boss, my inspiration. We had a good drink for you today pal!

Will miss you so very much!

Matt, louise & Oscar we’re thinking of you all at this sad time.

lots of love Jon & Loretta xxxx

February 26, 2009 at 2:13 am
Thank you Matt, for letting us know the sad news. The inevitability doesn’t make it any easier to grasp. Can’t believe it.

My thoughts are with all of you.

With love, sorrow, admiration, gratitude,
Travis xxxx

February 26, 2009 at 2:30 am
Much love to you all. We are very sad with you. Along with you, we will keep pushing for a cure. Miss you, Neil.
Amanda & Sara

February 26, 2009 at 6:36 am
Rest in peace Neil. You and your family have been an unbelievable inspiration in our lives through these tough and trying times. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those left behind on this sad day.

God Bless

Love to you all

Andrew, Samantha , MacKenzie, Will and Hayden Calder
Vancouver Canada

February 26, 2009 at 6:56 am
I feel like I have lost a son..

But miracles happen…

On the day dear Neil passed away we had a new addition to our family…

a baby boy ..

I shall always secretly think of him as ‘young Neil’

RIP Neil

Margaret (in Australia)
February 26, 2009 at 7:38 am
Vale Neil…
Margaret, Chris and Lewis

Kelly Carrotte
February 26, 2009 at 8:48 am
I am going to write down the last paragraph that Neil dictated for his 100th and final post. I am going to keep these words and refer back to them whenever I am having doubts about anything or holding back. I will read these wise and poignant words and think of Neil…..’The thing about the blog is that it seems to have made many people, previously untouched and unaware of the disease, take stock of their own lives in order to grasp every opportunity that lands in their lap (if there is an opportunity that lands in someone else’s lap then go see if they’ll do you a swap) Just don’t miss any.’….even though I think that he meant to add more, I think that this was an excellent way to sign off!! I hope that Neil’s family and friends can take some comfort from re-reading his words on this site and from all the wonderful comments of support from family, friends and strangers. This really is a wonderful site and it should be mandatory for everyone to read it from beginning to end!!! Sending much love to all of you who love and miss Neil xxxxx

Gill M
February 26, 2009 at 9:18 am
So sorry to hear that Neil has passed away. Louise I hope that you manage to find some peace and comfort with Oscar and your family over the coming days. Still thinking of you often.

Gill x

Natalie Drurey
February 26, 2009 at 9:56 am
Darling Neil you were a hero and will be missed greatly. May your journey be swift and peaceful and be met with a great big hug from your dad.
Lynne, Matthew and Louise my heart aches for you all. Love each other, hold each other and know that all thoughts are with you.

Love, peace and hope

Natalie, David and Gavin

February 26, 2009 at 10:47 am
free to embrace your loved ones at last…God bless x

Zandra McGillivray
February 26, 2009 at 10:50 am
I couldn’t bring myself to check your website yesterday…dreading the news. I’m so deeply sorry. I never knew you, but you touched me deeply — along with so many others — with your story. And I really think someone SHOULD turn this into a book. Apart from anything else, it will help spread awareness of this appalling disease, and raise badfly-needed funds for research at the same time. If I can help…
Meanwhile, Louise, take comfort in having known, loved, and been loved by such a brave, amazing man.

Jane Clapshaw
February 26, 2009 at 10:58 am
R.I.P Neil

Louise, Oscar and all your family are in our thoughts at the very sad time, Neil was an amazing person and I am sure this will live on in Oscar.

Jane, Dean, Victoria & Lewis

Lindsey and Andy
February 26, 2009 at 11:07 am
We just weant to say god bless you all our thoughts and prayers are with you
much love from Linz and Andy xxx

February 26, 2009 at 11:23 am
I did not know Neil but have known many others who have battled with MND. I have followed this blog for months and so admired the honesty ,courage and inspirational writing.. I found myself nodding in agreement, smiling at the humour and crying all at the same time. For Neil and his family to share all of that at such difficult times is really amazing. Many Thanks.

February 26, 2009 at 11:54 am
I feel so priveleged to have known you Neil, even though not for long. I was so sad yesterday morning knowing what was about to happen, but I have woken up this morning with more of a sense of determination about things – I can’t explain it but it’s the “Neil effect”.

To Lynne, Matt and the rest of the family, my heart goes out to you.

Louise, I look forward to seeing you and Oscar soon and giving you a hug, you’ve been and will continue to be so amazing and strong. I am truly sorry for you but I know that you will be fine and will live beautiful lives.

All my love, Loretta xxxxxx

Aunty Pau’s & Uncle Mel
February 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Neil was so brave all through his illness and determined right up to the end to get his thoughts out to the world. Matt was a true brother and MND brought them really close, some brothers would not have been able to do what Matt has done and he truly his a hero in my book. To all Neil and Louise’s family and many friends who have given their time to come and help out in whatever way they could, thank you seems totally inadequate, but THANK YOU SO MUCH.
Oscar will grow up and be very proud of his remarkable parents and Uncle Mel & I will be here if Louise or Oscar every need anything, just let us know.

Our thoughts are with you always, proud of you all

Aunty Pau’s and Uncle Mel xxxxxx

February 26, 2009 at 12:30 pm
Dear Louise and all friends and family,

I was so proud to be Neil’s friend and I will miss him like crazy.

Even though I knew it was coming it has still left me shell-shocked and gutted.

My thoughts are with you all.


Rachael x

Mark Glover
February 26, 2009 at 2:04 pm
It was with tremendous sadness that I read the last blog entry (thank you for that, Matt) in Neil’s blog. I had been a regular visitor to the ‘Platitude’ since Christmas and took a particular interest, not least because I too am unfortunately on the same journey. Neil’s words left me amazed at the courage, strength and humour he’d shown us all in the face of a horrifically cruel disease. He was a true inspiration to all of us.

Rest in peace, Neil, and thank you so much for all that you, your family and friends have done to raise awareness of this terrible disease that cries out for more research. Let’s hope that those growing up now never have to face what you bravely went through.

My thoughts are with you Louise, Oscar, and Neil’s family.

Mark xxx

February 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm
I remembered you last night in the spirit of which some us here at WGI knew you….with a pint of guinness in hand and a smile on my face. Super Wednesday was briefly revived for the occassion!

God bless you Neil now you are finally at peace after facing the illness with immense bravery and God bless Louise and Oscar for their future life together and the rest of the family.

You are in my thoughts, Stu

February 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm

You were the very rarest of creatures; comfortable in any company, able to charm, amuse, inspire and befriend the widest and strangest array of humanity.

There has been a real absence of laughter here in London since the Platts were forced to leave town and your loss will be felt forever.

We will remember you for your wit, your intelligence, your charm, your immense & almost pathological energy levels, your unfathomable ability to be attractive to almost everybody who’s path you crossed, your enormous capacity for fags & booze & poor quality dancing, your passion for people, love of family and vast circle of friends, your great musical talents and terrible singing but above all else for your utterly inimitable and un-rivalled love of filthy humour.

Over the past year your mental and physical courage and ability to continue to inspire and attract so much love and loyalty has not ceased to amaze.

We are immensely proud to have played a small part in your short life. May you rest in peace, knowing that Louise & Oscar have been left in the hands of a truly loving family and uniquely wonderful circle of apparently heroic friends.

Every ounce of love that we can muster today is directed to you and all who knew and cared for you.

Love Steve & Kate & Lois

February 26, 2009 at 10:12 pm
Dear Louise,

I am so so sorry.

I never got to meet Neil (although probably stood beside him in the queue in Albertinas whilst waiting for a cheese toastie!) but hope that I might one day, chat to him in heaven and meet an amazing, witty,strong and incredible man. I also want to thank him for making me look at my own life and making me a nicer person.

Thinking about you so much.

Caitlin xx

Angela Murray
February 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm
I would love to have met Neil. Such a fine and truly noble man whose courage and love of life has inspired me deeply. I promise to spread the word on MND and honour his memory. I send you and Louise and all your family and loving friends my heartfelt wishes of solace and love. Angela xx

February 27, 2009 at 11:29 am
Hi Mate

Sorry it,s been a long time but it,s been difficult to find the words.

You have been a brave & courageous friend and colleague that will be sadly missed,

One day perhaps we will get round to having a glass of single malt

To Louise, Oscar & Family

Thinking of you all at this very sad time and wishing you all the best for the future

Adrian, Debbie & Sam

Lynn Lambert
February 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm
I’m Jane McElligott’s sister-in-law (Brian’s sister). I started reading Neil’s blog a few months ago and have kept my husband up to date. We were both so saddened to hear of Neil’s passing and so touched by his incredible journey with this disease. We are impressed with the strength and courage he showed this past year and are amazed at how someone we have never met could touch our lives so much. You also must be an incredibly strong woman to have gone through this while raising your little boy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Louise and your son Oscar.

soraya rigg
February 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm
I have just logged on and seen that Neil has passed away. I pass on my deepest sympathy to Louise, Oscar and his family.I have followed Neil’s story with sadness,inspiration and wonderment.
Thank you Louise for the strength and dignity you have shown. Neil has touched so many lives and ignited the fight in many more people to find an end to MND.
Rest in Peace Neil.

Ricky Callan
February 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm
What can I say. What can I do? The answer to those questions is…nothing. We all knew about the inevitability of Neil’s condition, but that doesn’t make the accepting of what has happened any easier.

My heart is gladdened that at the end, Neil’s passing was a peaceful one. After everything he’d been through, he deserved nothing less.

His desire to tell his story with great humour, and emotion, on a day-to-day basis, was truly inspirational to us all.

I re-established contact with Neil & Louise after a long time, and I’m so glad I did. Although I wish I had done it sooner, as I feel a bit of a fraud, due to my absence. I would have loved to have come down from Edinburgh to see them all.

All my love to you Louise, at this very sad time. I’m sure Neil’s compassion, and care, in the meticulous planning of yours and Oscar’s secure future, made him safe in the knowledge, that you will eventually be able to go forward, and will give you the strength to cope with what we all know right now, must be unimaginable.

Goodbye my friend,

Love always. x

vivien and david prince
February 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm
Dear Louise
Just a quck note to say we have been keeping up with things via Loretta (our daughter) and jon. We were so sorry to hear of Neil’s passing earlier this week. Knowing it was coming doesnt make it easier to take, and when Loretta rang us very upset, to say that Neil had passed away, it was still a shock, as we felt we had come to know you all through Loretta and Jon. We have been amazed at your unfailing courage, and that of Neil, and his family. I would like to think I could have handled such a terrible situation so well, but I know I wouldn’t have.Hopefully now Louise, you can take stock, and rest and enjoy Oscar, without the worries and strains that must have been such a constant in your life for the last year or so.
Our thoughts are with you, and all the luck in the world for the future.
Vivien and Dave prince

Gemma, Hugo & Eva
February 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm
Dear Louise, Oscar & all of Neils Family,

We would like to send our deepest sympathy to all of you at Neils passing. We have followed your story on the website and have been touched by Neils courage and tireless work for the MND cause. You are truely an inspiration to us all. We were lucky enough to meet you both through the NCT and to share in the birth of Oscar and his early development. How proud Oscar will be to have such a remarkable
Our thoughts are with you all.
Love from Gemma, Hugo & Evax

sam Clayton
February 27, 2009 at 9:09 pm
Rest in peace Neil you where such a strong brave bloke, an open minded thinker of men,this wicked disease is an evil that need’s to be quelled.Your bravery and strength was remarkable , Men like you are too far and few between . RIP Mate love to All the Family xxx

joan seddon
February 28, 2009 at 1:53 am
I have been following Neils amazing journey since the article in the Daily Mail. I have been truly amazed at his fortitude and amazing spirit and zest for life and the love which you all have share.I am so truly sorry for all the family over his passing.Life can be so cruel but you have show such dignity and courage Keep strong Louise for yourself and little Oscar, Neil is not far away from you.

Cate Prescott
March 5, 2009 at 12:00 am
Lovely Louise and Oscar,

I’m so so sad to hear the news of Neil’s death.

We were in Sweedish lapland and on the night he died we saw the most amazing Northern Lights display – the best they had had this year by far and the 3rd best our guide has seen in his life. The Sami’s believe that the nothern lights are the souls of the departed – if that’s the case, no wonder they were so bright and glorious on that night if Neil’s soul had just joined their ranks.

Neil will always be close, you just have to look at Oscar. What a fabulous choice for a husband and soul mate you made.

Thinking about you all and sending you all our love xxx

Douglas Ardern
March 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm
I’m devastated to hear this news…
embarrassed for not knowing sooner…
and deeply saddened to have missed and now lost an old friend…

This news comes at a time of furious contemplation for me…
and it compounds my reflections…
and will drive me to seek out a fuller, more focused life.

Neil, you are in my thoughts and I’m sorry that we hadn’t been in touch of recent times. Nevertheless I still will miss you very much.

We’ll jam the pool table in albertinas and play endless games of pool while spying on your future wife again somehow i’m sure…

till then…

All my love,


March 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm
This news is so sad, I only hope that things can get a little easier to deal with for everyone from here. Neil will be remembered very fondly by everyone, more so because he devoted his last few months to writing to this marvellous, encapsulating blog which will linger in the minds of so many for a very long time. I only hope that its true purpose will remain and that lots more awareness will be raised… We can all play our part in this.

The volume of messages that have thus far been left is testament to
Neil’s wonderful character and all the recent work he has done.

I am thinking of all the family at this difficult time.

commented 2013-06-25 15:01:45 +0100
Motor Neurone is the most cruellest of disease, stripping you of all your dignity, it must have helped Neil to have such a wonderful and caring family around him, he will live on in his son Oscar, lets hope that they can eventually find a cure for this devastating disease xxx
@breathingfilm tweeted this page. 2013-06-25 14:01:12 +0100
The last entry on Neil's #Plattitude blog was written by his brother Matthew: 'Commencement' #MND #ALS
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