Life is quite funny. Daily, there are a lot of things that we cannot predict or control. Everything, from finances to illnesses, can change in only a blink of an eye. We are sure that, at some point in the past, you have also experienced something that blindsided you. However, we daresay that what happened to you has nothing to do with what this man had to go through!
A Loving Father
He was completely devastated when he learned the news. How did such a thing even happen in the first place? The father of three did not have any reason to think that his children were not his own.
Businessman And Millionaire
He eventually realized that nothing was as he thought it was. Soon enough, he was going to realize that he had been living a lie the entire time. He did not even know about it! What was his plan now?
He wanted to make his ex-wife pay for what she did to him. This businessman and millionaire are from the United Kingdom. He is one accomplished man! Richard Mason was 55 years old when the truth came out.
He is the co-founder of MoneySupermarket.com. If you have not heard of the company, it is a price comparison website. In the past, he was married to Kate. The couple first met when the two of them were both working at a bank back in the ‘80s.
The Day Everything Changed
Together, Kate and Richard have 3 lovely boys. The eldest one is called Will and is 23 years old. They welcomed twin boys called Ed and Joel as well. The twins are now 19 years old. Kate and Richard, however, were having relationship problems at the beginning of 2007.
The couple decided that it was time for them to separate at the start of 2008. Things might have ended in a divorce for them, but Richard did not have any resentment towards Kate or their marriage.
While they decided to go their ways and get a divorce, Richard was always there for his sons. He never failed to provide them whatever they needed. According to the financial settlement, Kate got a $5 million lump sum. It included payment for the tuition fees of the boys.
Not For Long
Even though that was a huge sum of money, Richard said that Kate “hounded me for years… and tried to make me pay more.” For the poor guy, the only good thing that came out of their “cold and joyless” union would be their children.
Richard had no idea that he was going to get the surprise of a lifetime. It took place in 2016. At the time, they had been separated for 10 years already. Around that time, this businessman found out the truth about something big in his life.
Grasping At Straws
The rich man got up that morning and prepared for his medical appointment. This day changed it all for him. He had no idea that he was not only going to be shocked but furious after a couple of hours.
The appointment was nothing more than a regular check-up with his doctor. Richard did not know that it would go on to change his entire life. By the end of it, there was nothing standard about that day!
Almost 100% Sure
The doctor ran a few tests on him, but he had no idea that the results would turn his entire life around. Before that, however, he had to contend with a big piece of news. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis!
Looking For Answers
No, this is not where the story ends just yet. Cystic fibrosis is a condition that brings persistent lung infections. After a while, it does a number on the lungs and reduces their capacity. Breathing eventually becomes more and more challenging over time.
Deny It All
This is a genetic disease. His sister died from it only a few years before this. He was devastated and began to panic. For one thing, he felt worried that his children would wind up with it as well.
The doctor wanted to comfort him and let him that his kids would not get it. Of course, it was a relief to hear such a thing. However, the relief turned into anger when the doctor said something else about it.
Angry And Emotional
That piece of information was followed by an explanation. Richard recalls that awful moment very well. After all, the rug got pulled from beneath him with those words. This was how it went down: “When the discussion then turned to fertility and he said, ‘Look, yourself and Emma – you know – you’re gonna have difficulty having children because you are, as a man with cystic fibrosis, infertile.’”
Lack Of Legacy
But how could such a thing even be possible? Richard had some hope in him. Perhaps he was a medical miracle. It was also possible that the diagnosis was nothing more than an error. He said, “‘Well, you must have the diagnosis wrong because I’ve already got 3 boys.’”
“I felt pleased to be able to tell him this because in my mind it proved his diagnosis was wrong,” he recalled. It must have been an awkward and shocking moment for the doctor, who just shook his head.
Into His Own Hands
That was how he realized that he was simply grasping at straws with his rationalization. It dawned on him that things were not as they seemed. The realization must have felt like a punch right in the gut!
Always His “Dad”
Richard, now armed with this knowledge, looked back on the marriage between him and Kate. He tried to look at the details and realized a few things. The boys did not look like him, but they looked familiar. He was heartbroken and then enraged. The next thing he did was to contact his ex.
The Consequences Of Her Lies
What did Kate have to say about it? He was furious as he sent her a text to demand an explanation. “Hi, I went to the Liverpool Chest Hospital today… to finally receive my diagnosis that I have cystic fibrosis.”
“In their experience, they have never had a male with CF who has fathered a child, let alone three,” he said. He also added, “It is 98% certain that I am not the father of many children.” Kate received the message as soon as he sent it, but she did not answer him right away.
An Empty Victory
Richard was unable to get an answer by behaving civilly. It was time to try a different method. “I was hoping that you could relieve me of [the] further indignity [of more tests] by letting me know now if I am the father,” he messaged her.
“I am happy to go along with your advice as to how best tell the boys. But, if you force me to go through these extra tests then I shall be telling them as I wish,” he said. Kate was now backed into a corner, so she replied after only a couple of minutes.
“Of course the boys are yours, no matter what the science might suggest,” she told him. Richard was shocked to see that she was doing this. How could she flat-out deny it when he had evidence? If she wanted to do it this way, he could play the same game.
He spoke to Will, his eldest child, who was now in college. Richard told the young man everything. How did his son take the news? “I told him I’d just been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, which he took surprisingly calmly,” explained the father of three.
“And I said, ‘Yes, but one of the things that I’ve just been told is that it is extremely unlikely that someone with cystic fibrosis could father a child.’ He said, ‘I’m already ahead of you, Dad. You’re saying you’re probably not my father?’” Richard narrated.
It was devastating for Richard to come to terms that his sons were not his biological children. He said that “it would have been the hardest sentence to utter, and he did it for me.” He also let Will know that he would still be his “dad.” It did not matter if they did not have the same genes.
“It was very emotional but I was also very angry,” shared Richard. Well, he did have to deal with two bits of terrible news in a single day. But what was he going to do about it? For him, his kids define him.
Richard did not only get a diagnosis of a horrible disease, but he also learned that his children were not his. It meant that his legacy would end with him. For a man like him, this was a terrible thought.
Two days later, he heard back from his ex-wife. Will confronted her about it. She then called her ex to confess. This was when she let him know that she had another man when they were married.
Even more insulting is the fact that Richard met the man in passing before. He was employed by Barclays Bank. It turned out that he and Kate often met up in London when she had to travel as a union official.
Kate still insisted that Richard was the dad of the boys. The only thing that he could do at that point was to get the help of experts. He spoke to Roger Terrell, a paternity fraud expert, to get to the bottom of it.
He took several tests. In the end, they only confirmed that he truly was infertile. After this, the next thing to do was to retrieve DNA samples from his sons. When they did this, the DNA test only proved that he was not the birth father of the twins.
However, there was one more complication in the mix. Will, the eldest kid, refused to give his DNA sample. He only said, “As far as I’m concerned, he’s my dad and that’s that.” Even so, Richard already had enough evidence to make a legal case against Kate.
In December 2016, Richard began the proceedings at Birmingham County Court. Will, however, had something to tell the man that he called his father. “My eldest told me, ‘Dad, if you sue Mum, I will never speak to you again,’” explained Richard.
An Empty Victory
The young man was not lying about this. We are sure that it was hard for Richard as well. He said, “The ripple effect of Kate’s lies has been massive.” What kind of reaction did he get from the twins, however?
Need To Know
For the twins, Richard was still their father even if they already know that they did not carry his genes. One of the boys even sent a sweet message to express his support for Richard. How nice is that?
Not Giving Up
This was the contents of the message: “Dad, as I explained from the beginning you would not be a dad to me regardless of all this. Of course, I’ll stay in touch, that will never change… I’m always here for you too and you will always be Dad. Love you x.”
Still His Sons
After the lies were exposed in a legal setting, Richard won the case. Kate was ordered to give him $300k for damages. She opted to settle, although she did have a condition. She asked for the identity of the father to stay anonymous.
Richard thought that it was a victory only in name. He decided to address the biological father of his 3 sons as well. The businessman “would like the biological father to read this article and come forward.”
This was what Richard said. He believed that the boys had the right to know who their father was. He said, “Not least for the boys’ sake because they will want to know who their real father is, even if hopefully they will always think of me as their dad.”
At any rate, Richard was not ready to give up yet on his quest to locate the father of his sons. One thing he did was to offer a reward of £5,000 to anyone who has information about the identity of this man.
Breaking The Silence
One of his reasons would be that the mystery man failed to pitch in financially when it comes to the boys. He told a media outlet, “I still regard them as my boys even though I’m not their biological father, and I miss them so much.”
To shed more light on the case, it was revealed that Kate had a sudden interest in Judaism when she was first pregnant. She was insistent on giving the boys a Jewish middle name! Richard believes that this is a clue about the identity of the real father.
“You don’t know what’s real and what isn’t — it’s as if I’m living in The Matrix,” explained Richard, “Someone says to you, ‘All you know and everything you thought solid and true is not real, and never did exist. You are not a father, you are not able to have kids, your name will not continue’.”
The Real Reason
“I still see what the boys are doing on Facebook and it’s heart-wrenching,” said Richard. He added, “It’s all been taken away from me.” It took his ex an entire decade after the divorce to confess about it.
He was ordered to give Kate a settlement worth £4 million after the divorce. But why did Richard go after her in the courtroom anyway? He explained, “The boys have heard their mother lie over years and years, whether about the affair or their paternity. I wanted to give them a better role model.”
“They’re very clever boys and because of the way I brought them up to do the right thing, I hoped they – now grown men – would understand that I needed to take that decision,” he added. The statement came out only days after Joel, one of the twins, broke his silence about the matter.
The young man called Richard “manipulative.” It happened on the same day that he went on TV to make an emotional plea for the boys to contact him. The huge secret was hidden from the boys as well.
Holding Back Tears
Joel, it turned out, was not interested to find out the identity of his true dad. On top of that, he and his mom remain on good terms. “It didn’t hurt me because he hadn’t been my dad for a few years,” he said.
“I felt nothing. I haven’t asked mum who our real dad is, I’m sure she’d tell me but I don’t want to know.” Even though they have not talked in years, Joel said that he and Richard were not “estranged.”
He could not wrap his head around why Richard was desperate to learn the identity of their father. After all, none of the boys were interested. But why did Joel refuse to talk to Richard? The young man said, “I haven’t been speaking to him for several years because of his behavior.”
“He’s a very manipulative man, not the kind of person you want to be with. I started noticing this when I was 15. But he’s still my dad and I’m not going to look for my real one,” he explained. On top of that, Joel also had a serious question for the man who raised him.
“He’s known for two years that he’s not our real dad so why do all this now?” On top of that, Joel said that Ed, his twin, is the only one among the siblings who still talk to Richard. The man was pleading when he went on TV.
“Boys, I haven’t done anything wrong at all. I love you and my door’s always open. I’ve got the kettle waiting to go on, a six-pack of beer, just come round, you’ll get the biggest hug ever. Let’s cry, let’s just hug, let’s just get back to where we were before,” Richard said.
Richard had more to say than this, however. He also said, “And just have a word with your mum, tells her to stop being so daft.” Not only that, but he also confessed that he had the desire to “get a hammer” after learning about the betrayal. Oops.
He was holding back tears and struggling to speak. He said, “When something like that happens to you, you suddenly feel this betrayal, this bitterness and sort of anger you can’t explain. I’m still their dad.”
“Rather than get a hammer and go and confront her, I thought ‘what can I do? We’re a civilized country’.” He had more to say and added, “I’ve always taught them to be straight forward and honest.”
“What you should do is go to law. It was like being hit by a hammer. It was like the world had just fallen away,” Richard shared, “I felt like, on the one hand, I’d just been told I had a terminal illness, on the other, finding out the boys weren’t mine was just very, very hard.”
Richard was so devastated that he nearly took his own life after finding out about it. He went on to say, “Imagine being told you are going to die and your three sons are not your own – my life fell apart.”
Emma, his new wife, has been there to help him through the trauma of it all. She is unable to conceive after her fight with cancer. Richard said, “But what stopped me was the love I feel for Emma. She is my soulmate, and has got me through all this trauma.”
You are mistaken if you thought that this was the end of the story. Weeks after he got his cystic fibrosis diagnosis, doctors gave him the big news. Emma was suffering from breast cancer! This was devastating because they had been trying for a child.
Emma had to get radiation treatment and chemotherapy before she got a mastectomy. On top of that, she has also said that she would need more procedures since she had an “aggressive genetic cancer”.
On one TV show, she explained that Richard had justification for seeking legal action. She said that he was right to do what he did. “You just can’t get away with no consequences. All Richard did was give her a legal and financial thump in the stomach,” Emma explained.
Emma also said that the boys should stay in touch with Richard. After all, they need to spend as much time as they could in the “years we have left.” Despite this, the boys do not seem to be interested. We can understand where they are coming from after everything that’s happened.
No Changing Their Minds
The heartfelt speeches and emotional pleas from Richard and Emma failed to sway the young men. Even so, you should know that cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects the digestive system and lungs.
The disease leads to mucus build-up in the lungs and other organs. It can lead to other complications such as diabetes and liver disease. Sadly, the disease causes a lot of deaths since it does not have a cure just yet.
However, some treatments can help the sufferer manage its symptoms and improve their quality of life. Antibiotics, for one, are a significant part of regular care. One way to reduce the risk of lung infection in a patient is to frequently wash hands.
Another way to reduce the risk of getting lung infections is for CF patients to get a flu shot each year. It also helps to avoid smoking and inhaling second-hand smoke. Lastly, one should also take care to avoid unnecessary contact with folks who have a cold as well as other contagious diseases.
There exist other ways to manage CF that do not involve the lungs. Implanted devices are used to manage chronic conditions in less intrusive ways. These methods will give long-term access so that the administration of drugs can have an impact on the bloodstream.
Airway Clearance Therapy
Airway Clearance Therapy is a special therapy used to treat cystic fibrosis. It is performed with a special machine known as “VEST” or through manual chest physiotherapy. It works by transporting the mucus around the airways so that the patient can cough properly.
Mucus Thinning Meds
Before anyone gets ACT, they are probably going to get familiar with the inhaler or nebulizer first. Albuterol is used to clear the airway and remove mucus. On top of that, an individual can first try Dornase alpha to make the mucus thinner or Hypertonic Saline solution to give the cell surface more moisture.
Enzymes And Nutrients
Pancreatic enzyme therapies are highly valuable since they can help the body absorb food and nutrients. They can be distributed as a snack or before and after meals. It is also advisable for people with cystic fibrosis to consume fat-absorbed vitamins.
Antibiotics are often prescribed when there is a bacteria buildup in the mucus. They are also quite handy when it comes to treating cystic fibrosis. They can also be consumed orally, via inhalation and even intravenously!
As we have said before, cystic fibrosis can impact the digestive system. It means that patients should talk to their doctor about their diet. On top of this, the patient probably needs supplements to ensure that they do not lack any nutrients.
Fruits are full of fiber and antioxidants. The former can prevent intestinal blockages and the latter can prevent bacterial infections. Supplements also reduce inflammation in cystic fibrosis sufferers. Fruits that have Vitamin C are great since they tend to have a lot of vitamin C. Make sure to include bananas, oranges, blueberries, apricots, and more in your diet!
Vegetables, of course, also form a form group that has a lot of health benefits. They are full of fiber, antioxidants, and crucial minerals and vitamins. When you are at the supermarket, you should go for dark and leafy ones since they are normally full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. Vitamin K is found in bok choy, Brussel sprouts, arugula, and broccoli!
Patients suffering from cystic fibrosis would probably benefit from food rich in protein since it will help with physical activity and muscle maintenance. Protein can bring down the risk of muscle loss. Aside from that, it can improve long term results for the sufferers. Eggs make for a good protein source since they also contain B-12, which is beneficial for nerve functioning and red blood cells.
Fish & Seafood
Fish and seafood are also good options for protein. They are full of vitamin D and iron, so this will be a good way to improve your fat and calorie consumption. Individuals with cystic fibrosis should consume a lot of vitamin D since it will keep their bones healthy!
Nuts are awesome snack options for both adults and children with cystic fibrosis. After all, the little superstars are full of calories and a good type of fat. They are loaded with protein, minerals, and vitamins as well. In particular, almonds and peanuts come with a lot of vitamin E.