Jan. 12th, 2016

On the day that doctors below the level of consultant have felt forced to take strike action, here's the very personal reason why I think the NHS is worth keeping and their action is worth supporting. Some of you already know part of this story and/or have seen the scars on my left leg and hip. For those that don't:

When I was twelve, I fell very ill. I contracted ostio myelitis. This is basically an abscess in your bone marrow.  At the same time I got septicemia - blood poisoning.  Dr Wilner, our GP paid us a home visit, made the diagnosis and had me admitted straight to hospital.  Mr Lalljee, the consultant, operated on my hip along with two "Junior" doctors, Dr Gunaratne being one of them. This should have sorted out the myelitis. Unfortunately the blood poisoning caused liver failure and I ended up in ITU for nearly a week.  At one point during this stay, my Mum was told it was 50/50 whether I'd survive.  When I was well enough to be out of the ITU (liver failure recovered from and septicemia cleared up, an assessment showed that I still had the myelitis.  Cue a second operation on both hip and leg - apparently the medical notes referred to use of a Black & Decker.  Five more weeks in hospital recovering were followed by several months in a leg brace while the bones healed and follow up appointments for another three or four years.

All this was forty years ago now.  The NHS, those doctors and their back-up staff undoubtedly saved my life.  I wouldn't be here without them.

I'm incredibly proud that my home town so cared for its hospital that it elected one of their doctors as an independent MP for several years.  I wish Richard Taylor was still in parliament, to speak truth to power on these matters.



January 2016

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