Peter attended the First and Middle Schools in Bookham and went on to the Howard of Effingham. He was a keen member of cub/scout group and enjoyed playing football, although born with two left feet! From the age of 7 he was an avid Arsenal supporter. Many a Saturday morning was spent playing football with the Colts and badminton with the Young Moles at Leatherhead Leisure Centre - he eventually went on to represent his university in badminton.
With a 2.l honours degree in computing from Bradford University, Peter joined Logica, the internationally known local IT company. He had tremendous enthusiasm for computing and was keen to travel with his work. During his first few years he worked in Netherlands and Brunei until his blossoming career was cruelly cut short by the devastating diagnosis of a brain tumour in 1997.
Initially, Peter suffered from seizures which were controlled by anti-epileptic drugs. Symptoms returned and he had four months of unsuccessful chemotherapy with extremely unpleasant side effects. This was followed by a full craniotomy of the right front lobe. During this treatment he lost the sight in his left eye and was left with only tunnel vision in the right eye. Six weeks of intensive radiotherapy followed. Peter suffered continually but kept fighting. His short term memory was now poor and his hand to eye co-ordination severely impaired. A period of remission followed until Christmas 2002 when symptoms returned. More unsuccessful chemotherapy followed - the Doctors could do no more. Peter continued to suffer daily absent seizures and gradually became paralysed. Eventually when nursing became impossible at home, Peter went to the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, where he died five weeks later, totally paralysed. The Hospice staff were wonderful, not only did they take care of Peter, but they looked after us as well. Many of Peter's friends visited him frequently during his last weeks and were also very impressed with the care and kindness of the Princess Alice's staff
Peter was extremely popular - this was very evident at his funeral from the host of friends and family who attended. It was extremely comforting for my husband and I, and our daughter and her family to feel their love and support throughout our tragic loss. Peter's friends will remember him as an active and fun-loving person who enjoyed life to the full. He always underplayed the seriousness of his condition. He never complained and never gave up hope.
It was after the funeral when Peter's schoolfriends, Nick Crossley, Tom Humphreys and Mark Shepherd, led by Paul Donovan, set up the Peter Culverhouse Memorial Trust Fund to support The Princess Alice Hospice and brain tumour research at the Royal Marsden Sutton.
Logica gave Peter tremendous support throughout his illness which lasted over 6 years and in his memory have set up an annual award to celebrate staff achievement.
Little research is being done into the type of brain tumour from which my son suffered from. As it was inside the brain and therefore inoperable, the only treatment available was to try and shrink the tumour. Eventually the treatment becomes intolerable to the patient. Apparently, primary brain tumours are becoming more common, especially in young people, so research is vital to find a cure and better treatment methods required to reduce the suffering and disabilities.
The setting up of the Fund has given my family something to focus on. Life was very cruel and not fair to Peter. A strong young man with so much to give, his life has been taken away from us. Alongside the horrific treatment Peter went through, he also lost his independence, his partner, his sight, and his dignity, yet he never complained and somehow managed to keep his good sense of humour right to the very end.
My husband and I are organising a Golf Day on 9 June, Peter's birthday, at Clandon Regis Golf Club with the help of friends and family who have supported us through our tragic loss. We shall hopefully have a memorable day and raise money for the Trust. Further events to support these deserving charities, and to keep Peter's memory alive, are being planned.
If any reader would like to make a donation or contribute under the Give As You Earn Scheme, would you please contact:
Mr. Graham Clark, Trust Officer (Tel No 01732 529305)
Ref: The Peter Culverhouse Memorial Trust T/70193576/G