New book written by Derry dad before his death to be published soon
A new book is to be released soon, which was written by Derry man Chris Doherty just before he died in September 2021, aged just 38.
Donovan the Business Sloth makes it home for bedtime stories was written by Chris Doherty with his cousin, artist Alex Ferragu and tells the story of a busy father trying to overcome obstacles so he can enjoy stories with his son Archie. Unfortunately, Chris never got a chance to finish the book as he had a cardiac arrest in September 2021 in his home in Omagh, where he lived with his wife Laura and their two children Archie and Max, who are now one and three years old. Chris was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital by Air Ambulance, where he died seven days later and gave the gift of organ donation. Now, Laura and Chris’ family are preparing to release the childrens book on Amazon, after working together to finish it.
Laura said: “Chris worked in IT and he was always into other projects on the side. He was on Furlough for a while during lockdown and he had gone from a job where he was travelling quite a bit to being home all the time with our son, Archie, and he loved that. He was always very involved with the kids and I think the book came out of him spending that time with them. The book is about getting home for bedtime stories, which is quite a simple message but quite poignant now, particularly.
“He passed away on September 25 last year after being in Altnagelvin ICU for seven days after a cardiac arrest. Our youngest son was four months old at the time. It was a huge shock because he was in relatively good health. We never expected this to happen in a million years.”
Chris’ friends Michael Poole and Gavin Webb walked from Mizen Head to Malin Head in July this year in memory of Chris and Michael’s sister Aisling. They walked to raise funds for the Air Ambulance NI and Vasculitis Ireland Awareness.
Laura said: “Chris just started working for a local company here, LoughTec, before he passed and they have been amazing. He only worked for them for a week but they have done fundraising for the Air Ambulance. Chris always had a creative side but, working in IT, he didn’t always get the chance to indulge it. He certainly didn’t consider himself an author but he spent a lot of time during lockdown on calls with his cousin Alex, who lives in France. That was lovely because they could reconnect and spend time together. He would have focus groups with his friends who had kids to see how they liked the book and it was a real passion project of his. Even after he passed, there was a big effort with a few different people in the family and we’re fortunate that we have quite a few creatives who were able to work with the files and put it all together in the book format.
“All the content, illustrations and wording of the book was finished when Chris died so there was only some minor adjustments needed. Chris had always looked into publishing it on Amazon so, when we took over, we had debated what we wanted to do with it. Because it was already illustrated and we wanted to keep the book as much in its original form as possible, we decided to go ahead with what he was looking to do, which was publish on Amazon. It gives us that ability then to donate some of the proceeds to charity as well.
“The book has given us something to focus on and finish on his behalf and it’s good to finish what he started, too. It’s a lovely book for Archie and Max to have now. Chris was as dedicated as they come and he just loved spending time with the boys. He would always wind Archie up playing before bedtime and he would have to read quite a few stories to him to calm him back down! It’s horrible to be in the situation where it’s coming out now and Chris can’t see it but it wouldn’t be right to leave it unfinished. I love the illustrations Alex did, too, so it has all worked very well together, although I think we’re all very biased!”