Elusive realities: Robbie Cheadle – The boy with nine lives

image from Pixabay baby's feet

On 30 January 2006, my son, Michael, was born. He was a very healthy baby, with a tiny wizen face, just like a little old man. His APGAR score was 10 out of 10 and he didn’t need to go onto a heating pad in the hospital. I had a Caesarean section delivery. My obstetrician told us after the operation that it was just as well he had performed a Caesar as my uterus was very thin at the site of the scar from my previous Caesar and it could have ruptured if I had gone into labour. He said that it was so thin, he could see the baby right through my uterus. The fact that I had no problems with my pregnancy, despite this, was Michael’s first lucky break in life.

When Michael was three weeks old, he stopped breathing. He was sleeping in his pram and I was playing with Gregory. When I checked on the baby he wasn’t breathing and was going blue. I snatched him out of the pram and he woke up and immediately started howling like a banshee. I called the paediatrician and she asked me to bring him to her rooms. She diagnosed him with bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is a virus that affects the respiratory tract. The infection causes inflammation of the tiny airways, called the bronchioles, which lead to the lungs.  The swollen airways fill up with mucus which makes breathing difficult. If Michael had stopped breathing during the night, he could have suffered a cot death.

At four months old, Michael stopped breathing and was admitted into hospital with bronchiolitis for the second time. I was shocked and dismayed. I didn’t really understand the implications of bronchiolitis. No one in my family had suffered from respiratory problems and I didn’t know that infants that contract bronchiolitis early in life often get a recurrence of the illness and often develop asthma later in their childhood. Michael recovered, and I took him back home three days later. We started a daily regime of nasal sprays, saline washes and antihistamines.

One day, when Michael was six months old, the geyser above the kitchen burst. It was in the late afternoon and the plumber could only come the following morning. We switched it off, to prevent further water from leaking into the ceiling. I was sitting in the kitchen with Michael on my lap while my Mother made dinner when Terence came in. He was concerned about the bowing of the ceiling due to the collection of water. He decided to poke a broom handle into the ceiling to let the water out. He was quite far away from me, so I didn’t think I needed to move away. As he poked the broom into the ceiling I saw the ceiling board start to tear and I leaped across the kitchen and out of the door. A few seconds later a brick smashed into the chair where I had been sitting with Michael. The brick had somehow been left in the ceiling at some point. It had been flung across the kitchen when the ceiling board tore open. It could have killed either or both of us.

When Michael started crawling, the two boys used to play a game. Gregory would run and hide away and Michael would crawl frantically after him. One day, Greg chose to hide in the shower in the main bathroom. The shower had a heavy glass door, attached with hinges on one side only. The bath was about 1 metre from the shower. Michael saw Greg hiding in the shower and crawled to the door. As Greg, pushed on the door to open it, the hinges snapped, and the door fell forward onto the bath. Michael was right underneath, unharmed. It was a most alarming incident. We subsequently had the whole bathroom renovated and the single shower door was replaced with two doors which weren’t so heavy on the hinges.

Michael started school at eighteen months old. Gregory was attending a playgroup and Michael desperately wanted to go. In January of the following year, Gregory turned four years old and started at nursery school. Michael continued at the playgroup which he loved. I collected him at 12pm one rainy day. We stopped in the right-hand lane at a red robot. A taxi was coming down the hill, hell for leather. It attempted to stop at the red robot and I saw it start to skid. The traffic hadn’t started moving in the opposite direction yet, so I accelerated, and my car zoomed across the intersection. The taxi skidded right across the section of road where my car had been waiting to turn. Another extraordinarily fortunate incident.

The year that Michael turned four years old, he started complaining of chronic pain in his stomach. We had a sonar taken and then a CT scan. The diagnosis came back that Michael had a tumour in this stomach. It was wrapped around a main artery. Surgery was necessary to cut as much of it as possible away and perform a biopsy. The diagnosis came on the Thursday of a long weekend. We had to get through four days before the surgery could be performed. After the procedure, the paediatric surgeon came out to talk to us. He said he didn’t think the tumour was malignant. He had only removed half as it was to dangerous to remove any more as he could cut the artery. We had to wait a further three days for the results of the biopsy. When they came back negative, I burst into hysterical tears. That was the worst week I can ever remember.

Seven lucky events for my little lad with nine lives. He was definitely born under a lucky star.


8About the author

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books.


Find and follow Robbie

Robbie’s Inspiration Blog      Goodreads    Facebook    YouTube

Amazon author page   Twitter: @bakeandwrite


Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery

… a perfect recipe for sharing with children.  Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.

You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:

Amazon  Lulu.com    TSL Books

or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at sirchoc@outlook.com.


Elusive realities

If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at findme@scvincent.com (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.

I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realise that none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences and perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean.

If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.

You can find previously published encounters with elusive realities here

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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109 Responses to Elusive realities: Robbie Cheadle – The boy with nine lives

  1. Wow Robbie, your son is lucky indeed! I’ve only had one incident when my son (then aged 3) stopped breathing due to a high fever. I would never want to go through that again.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner, Indie Author. and commented:
    How lucky is this little boy? Thanks to Robbie Cheadle and to Sue Vincent for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. wallietheimp says:

    God bless you and your family! What an experience…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Wow, what an incredible start to life. Makes one wonder what other amazing things he will do in life. God favors him!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Eliza. We have been incredibly lucky with Michael. His health has improved drastically in the last year and this week, we were told that he is ready to leave the remedial school he attends and go back into the main stream school system. His performance is now above average which has required a huge effort on his part.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My goodness, gracious! What an extraordinary set of circumstances, indeed. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:
    I am visiting Sue Vincent’s delightful blog today and talking about elusive realities with the boy with nine lives. Thank you for hosting me, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Smitha V says:

    Robbie I’m so glad I read this article. Michael is a super-hero having got through all these incidents and I can only imagine the nightmares you went through. I’ve had harrowing incidents with my older one too until the age of 9 and then thankfully it stopped by God’s grace. God bless Michael and your family with loads of strength.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Darlene says:

    What an incredible story. Bravo Michael! My son had bronchitis at 3 months old and I was so upset. He is a strong and healthy father of four now. As moms, we do worry about our little ones.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am speechless Robbie! What an incredible story. You all are really blessed! Wish you all the best! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jenanita01 says:

    Someone is looking after Michael, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What an extraordinary true story. Michael and you certainly have a guardian angel watching over you, not to mention the fact that you are an exceptionally, resourceful, wonderful mom, and Michael is meant to be here. What you went through, I can’t imagine the fear and sleepless nights for a period of years, no less. I bet he is one incredible teenage boy at 14 years old.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Karen, it is quite extraordinary how many unusual incidents Michael has been through. I am very grateful that his health seems to be much better this year. I really do try to do my best for both my boys and I appreciate your kind comment.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My pleasure, Robbie, and you are more than welcome. You are one brave mom and blessed too.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Robbie, I meant to add that yes, it is quite extraordinary how many unusual medical incidents that your beautiful child Michael somehow over came and the several near-accidents, that too. His name is Michael and that has meaning, he certainly must have a real guardian angel and his wonderful mom too. I can imagine that you do as well. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Ritu says:

    Wow! Michael sure is a lucky boy!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. willowdot21 says:

    Isn’t it amazing how children especially sons can turn you prematurely grey! I have three boys and they have all given us huge shocks! Luckily like your lovely Michael they all survived! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  14. So glad that these potentially dangerous situations didn’t end up with a terrible outcome. My youngest has had quite a few scary things happen to her too, most of which were on one holiday in Greece and my eldest frightens us with her fainting episodes so all in all my two have been known to keep us on our toes! That’s not even mentioning my hubby who has nine lives too!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Ali Isaac says:

    Wow!, You two have certainly been through it! I hope life settles down now, with no more dramatic incidents. My daughter Carys had brionchiolitis when she was 18 months old, which is quite unusual, its usually vety young babies who get it. The ward was full of tiny newborns suffering with the same thing, it was awful. I’ve seen your pictures of your son, and he looks strong and full of life and energy and fun. Happiness and health to all the young ones! Thanks for sharing your story. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. olganm says:

    My goodness, Robbie. He is a lucky boy and you have fabulous intuition and reflexes as well and know how to keep calm under pressure. What a winning team! May the luck be with you and your family always. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Wow! Makes one believe in a higher power. Thanks for telling this story.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. kethuprofumo says:

    Incredible story, dear Robbie! Let’s hope no misfortunes will happen with him any more!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Amy says:

    Your son is a lucky and story boy! And, mother had to go through a lot…
    Wish him a healthy and happy!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. lbeth1950 says:

    This little guy has dodged a few bullets.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Holy Hannah! Talk about a thriller… Robbie, I’m glad everything worked out okay — every time. Huge hugs to you both.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. What struck me most was your optimism, Robbie. Most would say Michael has a dark cloud hanging over him, you say he’s living under a lucky star- love this ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Incredible stories, Robbie… ❤ Blessings and love to all! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Jennie says:

    Lucky seven, Robbie. Michael has some good angels looking after him. What a series of scary events!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. OMG, Robbie. I was in tears reading this. I’m so thankful for you and Michael. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Oh my gosh Robbie! All I can say is that Michael has a phenomenal mom and an overworked guardian angel!🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  27. balroop2013 says:

    Michael seems to be an Angel, gifted with the magical powers of scaring away all the demons around him. You are truly blessed Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. What a life. Bronchiolitis is a lingering illness. I certainly can relate to how his lungs feel. I’ve had the taxi experience except I ended up being rear ended. Not fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This entire post made me hold my breath, Robbie! Michael is indeed a blessed child. I often wonder how often we have close calls and don’t even know it. To watch it happening as a parent has to be nerve-wracking! Give him an extra hug. Thanks for hosting, Sue. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Ann Armstrong-Campbell says:

    How beautifully written Robbie! I didnt realise how many incidents you and Michael had experienced. You certainly are his Guardian Angel and I know how much joy he brings to you. Keep writing and sharing the beautiful moments with him as you do. You are one in a millions Mum’s. Love you ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  31. He was certainly born under a lucky star, that’s for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Mary Smith says:

    Goodness, Robbie, what an amazing story! So many narrow escapes.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. As I read through each incident, Robbie, I was most impressed with the alertness, coolness under pressure, and quickness to act that you exhibited, Robbie. Michael is lucky to have you!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I am so happy there is a happy ending here, Robbie. I assume all is well now? You’re past this? Both my toddlers had life-threatening problems and it changes one. I no longer cared for the corporate ladder. All I cared about was taking care of those darlings.
    Kudos to both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael is doing a lot better now, Jacquie. He was last hospitalized last year in June. We have had nearly a whole year of good health and I am hoping it will last through this year’s winter too. I have also lost the drive to climb the corporate ladder aggressively although I do still work and do my best in my current role. I don’t wish for further promotions.

      Liked by 1 person

  35. dgkaye says:

    Wow Robbie, you’ve sure had your share of worry as a mother. And sounds to me like your Michael was truly born under a lucky star. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Adele Marie says:

    wow, Robbie, he’s been through the wars, let us hope that from now on, only luck will come his way. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  37. Tina Frisco says:

    Jeez, Robbie, talk about skirting danger… You must have aged nine lives during all of this. Michael is one blessed little boy ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Amazing, Robbie! I was told having children would be a long shot and went through three surgeries before I got pregnant with my daughter. I had a close call with her after the birth of my son. We were at my brother-in-law’s and I had such a sudden rush of panic. I knew she was in trouble. I searched the house but couldn’t find her and then I heard horns beeping. I knew–just knew she was out on the road. I jumped down stairs and off the porch and ran faster than I ever have in life and I caught her before she reached the intersection. I will never forget that day. I was so incredibly lucky. The strength and abilities we’re given as mothers…

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I have had a few health scares with both of my sons. Being a mother can be the most frightening and stressful of jobs. Thankfully we have all survived!

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Pingback: Writing Links…6/4/18 – Where Genres Collide

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