on not dying after all

Five years ago today I went into hospital to have an operation which saved my life. Without being too dramatic, if I hadn’t had the care and attention quickly I simply would not be here today.

An experience such as this changes you.  After all this time I will never forget the way I was treated, cared for and healed by a team of people who worked together to fix me.  The 4th August 2010 was in some way the beginning of the rest of my life.

There is something about facing the fear of illness and surviving that makes you consider all that came after.  I can still see the doctors talking together, working out how to make me well. I can see the nurses who held my hand and the wonderful young registrar who stayed with me all night, a night I had no faith I would survive. Their skills, their professionalism, humanism and all round wonderfulness pulled me through.

On sunny days with my family I find myself thinking about them, and saying a silent thank you. Thank you to the NHS, the best of the best, from my GP who took my worries seriously, to the hospital clinic team and the surgeons and nurses who literally made me well.  Thank you really doesn’t seem enough.

In the five years since lots of things have happened and I have been here for all of them.  Here to support my family, through tough times, here to see my son marry his amazing wife, here to hold their daughter, my baby Granddaughter and to watch her turning from new born baby to gorgeous toddler in front of our eyes.   Here to make my wedding vows with the best man in the world by my side, surrounded by our friends and family to celebrate our good fortune in finding each other.  This is the same man who spent the hours I was in surgery in the hospital Chapel and who made sure his was the first face I saw when I awoke.  Here for countless sunny holidays and fun times, all of which would have been lost to me, but for good fortune and our NHS.

Five years on I am still being me, a Mum and a Wife, a Nana and a Sister. I still have great friends and a wonderful life.  So, this morning I will take a moment to reflect on how fortunate I have been, how thankful I am to live in a country where we can access the best health care ever, and to count my blessings of which I have many.

This was the second time my life was saved by the NHS, as a baby another operation in another hospital gave me my whole life.  I have always know this, but never had the memories, I was too young to remember.  This time I will never forget.

Thank you for the rest of my life.  I will try and make the most of every day of the time I nearly didn’t have.  I will stand up for our NHS proudly and loudly and I will fight in every way I can to protect it.  I have to, I owe my life to them.  Twice.

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