My Valentine? The NHS

12 months ago today my daughter was discharged from hospital after emergency surgery.

I wrote a newsletter on the 'big day' last year. I think Valentine's Day will always remind me of the kind care we received at the hands of the NHS. True Love. 12 months later my daughter thrives, is 'enjoying' her A levels, chosen so that she can apply for medicine - every medic who came to see her said 'Oh, doing your GCSE's? Apply for medicine, it's great.' As they had just saved her life, their strategy worked.

12 months on.....still my Valentine

I love the NHS not only because of their involvement in the creation of our specialist skincare for cancer patients and unwavering support thereafter. I love the NHS as they saved my daughter this week. All of my Valentines love (and I have a lot) goes to the team at my local NHS hospital. I am honoured to call the hospital my current place of residence. I returned from my travels in time to notice that my middle daughter wasn’t quite right. We left home at 2pm on Sunday to go to a walk-in medical centre and she was having surgery by 1am Monday. I know the NHS gets a lot of bad press but I am struggling to understand why. My daughter and I (and there is nothing wrong with me) have received world-class care and benefited from the expertise of a cast of thousands. Every single person we have met has been clear in his or her intention to love my daughter to wellness. She is 16; she has been treated with respect and immense grace. She was in the driving seat with consent for her procedure and she was the one that the perfectly positioned communications were aimed at. I have left her side only after she was under her general anaesthetic. I was by her side again moments after she awoke. I weep as I recall the kindness of the anaesthetist who said ‘she’s under (general anaesthetic) now; you can give her a kiss. Don’t worry we’ll look after her’ He was reading my mind – I wanted to say (and never would have said as it has such negative implications) ‘She’s precious. Look after her’ My girl is recovering well after a tough and longer than expected operation. She is no longer in possession of her appendix. Having seen a photo of it just before it was removed, we all agree that it was better out than in. I don’t plan to be at my desk very much over the coming weeks. Please forgive me if I am slow to reply to emails.

I won’t be taking calls. The team don’t need me. They have probably forgotten what I look like. It is a privilege to be able to care for my daughter and I plan on giving her as much time as she needs, and then maybe a bit more. Sending care and kindness

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