The Struggling GP Who Found Happiness In North Hykeham

Dr Francis Dasilva, born and bred in London, moved to North Hykeham a few years ago amidst the chaos of the pandemic. Like many people, he was in search of a different, quieter pace of life after experiencing an extremely tough period of his.

“I went through a lot of anxiety and depression.” Francis admits, “I really struggled with work and the pressures of being a Junior Doctor.” The immense pressure on the NHS at present is something that is widely reported, and Francis is a reminder that it is those on the front line whose shoulders it lands on.

The stress, anxiety and depression ultimately culminated in a breakdown of his marriage – another huge hit to take. “I was at a really low point, but fortunately I had an amazing support network around me, mainly in the form of my loving family.”

Throughout his medical school and Junior Doctor years, the stress also showed itself in the weight he started to gain, eventually leading to him being classified as obese.

At this low point, it caused a shift for Francis, and he became determined to be the best version of himself. “It became my phoenix from the ashes moment” he recalls, “in short, I used it to help find and reinvent myself again. I used the scars as fuel and ended up losing 35kg.”

After two years of relentless training, Francis went from obese to bodybuilder standard, taking part in modelling shoots, winning a bodybuilding show, and even featuring in Men’s Health. It has always been about more than just physical appearances though, and as he was becoming stronger and fitter, his confidence blossomed and he was able to combat the negative thoughts he was previously bombarded with.

It wasn’t just exercise that was his saving grace – it also came in the form of poetry. “I had always loved poetry, so as a form of stress release and for therapeutic reasons, I began writing poetry and quotes. It did really help me, and I used to share some of my work to hopefully help others.” Francis often received encouraging messages from others saying that his words gave them hope, and so he was determined to complete the life dream of having a poetry book self-published.

After 8 years in the making, Francis has now realised this dream and his book ‘Fairytales and Star Light’ is now available to purchase on Amazon. The book touches on themes of self-worth, self-belief, strength, finding your purpose and happiness.

Francis is now settled in North Hykeham with his girlfriend and encourages anybody going through something similar to reach out and find a support network, as well as find an outlet. For him it was exercise and poetry, but he emphasises that it could be anything, but stresses how important it is to find that thing that keeps you going.