Michael receiving treatment at the medical day unit at K&C

Poet Michael uses his talents for a unique thank you for hospital staff

A wordsmith who has regular treatment at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital has written a poem to thank staff for their care.

Michael Isaacs, from Ramsgate, has Crohn’s disease, where parts of the digestive system become inflamed, and has regular infusions of a drug to reduce the inflammation at the hospital’s medical day unit. He is also severely deaf and wears bone-mounted hearing aids.

He was so impressed with the kindness and compassion shown by the team that he decided to say a unique thank you in verse.

The 41-year-old dad of three said: “The team are absolutely amazing, and have created a wonderful environment which feels relaxed, which is very important to me.

“Being deaf can affect my confidence but they are very understanding and take the time to chat. I joke I go there for a cup of tea and a sit down but that’s not far from the truth.

“They always ask about the poetry so I decided to write one for them to highlight how special they are.”

Michael worked as a primary school teacher but had to take medical retirement because of his Crohn’s disease, as well as his worsening hearing loss and obsessive compulsive disorder.

He swapped roles with his wife, who has gone back to work as a teacher, while he is a house-husband and writes poetry when the boys are at school.

He said: “My wife has been fantastic and so supportive, and this arrangement is the best for all of us.

“It gives me time to write and it has become something that dad does, and the boys are really encouraging and have embraced this new role for me.”

Michael first started penning poems as a way to deal with his grief after the death of his mother, and other family bereavements.

It also helps him raise awareness about his health conditions and hidden disabilities, and his ultimate goal is to publish a book.

Michael said: “Initially I just started writing down my feelings but then it started to become poetic and it was a way I could channel my grief.

“I am not very good at talking about it but I could express myself through the poems, and writing helped pull me through some really dark times.

“When I am in pain I try to channel it and convert it to energy to write the poems. It’s not a cure but it’s an outlet.

“My dream is to publish a book and I already have the title in mind. It would be dedicated to my mum, who was an avid reader and devoured books.

“It would be lovely to have something like that in her honour, and to raise awareness of invisible illnesses.”

Michael is inspired by spoken word poets such as Lemn Sissay, and was lucky enough to meet his hero, as well as others including former World Poetry Slam champion Harry Baker and fellow deaf poet Raymond Antrobus.

He said: “It was a particular ambition to meet Raymond, but they were all wonderful and very supportive.

“It is nice to feel seen and heard through my poems. I take part in open mics and poetry slam events which can be very daunting, particularly if it is a big venue as I struggle to hear how I am delivering the poems.

“But I won my first poetry slam in February, and have won another since then, as well as finishing second twice, and I am very proud of that. Each time I have won it has been with a deaf-based poem, which feels very special.”

You can read Michael’s poems on his Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/michael.purple.poetry7/