JACKIE Huck had a story to tell. A true one that told how one of the most brutal and unforgiving illnesses of our time shattered the man she loved.

After a long career devoted to working on their Cumbrian farm Eddie and Jackie Huck were determined to make the most of their retirement. However, when dementia struck and progressed at speed their dreams were destroyed.

As Eddie rapidly lost his grasp on reality, Jackie cared for him.

A former nurse she had the amazing skills and compassion to help her care for Eddie.

But as her husband’s condition took hold, Jackie was forced into situations that she could never have envisaged and many nights with little sleep drained her own reserves.

Jackie has deftly put their story into words in The Uncharted Journey, Eddie, Dementia and Me.

It's an honest account of how she coped with Eddie’s deteriorating mental health.

Although harrowing, there are lighter moments and Jackie’s unconditional love and the heart warming help of devoted friends comes shining through.

Preparing for the book launch on Thursday, October 24 (2pm-4pm) at Orton Market Hall, Jackie explained that Eddie was diagnosed with vascular dementia in November 2010.

"The disease galloped rapidly onwards until his death, just over two years later,” she added. "I started writing the book around 2014, and it took me over two years to write, as I found I could only write about this 'journey' in stages, as the memories were too distressing. It was finally completed around 2017 and since then it had gone through a lot of rewriting, and editing. In some ways it's a love story, of a love that struggled with the impact and advance of this cruel disease.

"So many thousands of families all over the country are facing these same problems. At the moment there is estimated to be 800,000 to 900,000 people affected with dementia. This will rise to well over a million in the next few years.

"Help is out there, but it is patchy, and sometimes difficult to access. There are few purpose built dementia care homes, and patients when they have to go into care, often end up either blocking a hospital bed or in an ordinary care home. "Dementia patients and their carers need specialised help and care. Quite often basic care homes will not accept or cannot cope with dementia patients. On many occasions it is family and friends, volunteers, charities or local help groups who bare the brunt of the dementia problems."

All the proceeds of the book are being donated to Dementia UK, which is a national charity committed to improving the quality of life for all people affected by dementia, through the provision of Admiral Nurses and a national helpline. "Its a small charity which is expanding, and needs all the support it can receive," concluded Jackie.

The Uncharted Journey, Eddie, Dementia and Me is published on 2QT Publishing, for £8.99, and available direct from Jackie at jacquelinehuck@btinternet.com or from Amazon as an ebook to download.