22 April 2024

NHS turns 75 today. Thank you!

As the NHS turns 75 today, I wanted to share one of the reasons why I am so very thankful to the wonderful people who work there and the work they do.

I have had many experiences with the NHS since being born, either through the amazing GPs I have been fortunate enough to care for me or the orthodontists who helped straighten my very wonky teeth.

I could include the surgeon who cleaned up my knee after a sporting injury or the consultants who carried out my dad’s heart bypass or repaired my mum’s leg after a fall.

We all have had so many interactions with the NHS; there are too many to mention.

Five years ago, my wife and I thought we were six weeks away from welcoming our daughter into the world.

It had been a long journey to get to this point, multiple miscarriages and years of trying had finally, after some help from our GP and doctors, resulted in a successful pregnancy.

We had seen the midwifery and consultants more than a normal pregnancy because of our previous issues and were so happy that things seemed to be going so well.

Then a few things started to get noticed, signs that things with my wife weren’t quite right – a little swelling and tests showed some small problems, an overnight stay and observations.

We were allowed home after the first time, and we still went on holiday to Italy with the doctor’s blessing, something that now we look back on, and it seems risky.

The second time, things were more serious. My wife was again checked after the swelling increased, and the test results were not so good.

She was admitted, and an emergency delivery plan quickly followed; our ‘Smidge’, as she was known before birth, was coming early.

The care that the doctors and midwife team at the hospital showed us was amazing. They understood our fear so much that they stopped letting us see my wife’s blood pressure levels as they knew we understood them. They were scary high as the preeclampsia that my wife was suffering from was worsening.

Drips and lines were inserted, including in my wife’s ankle, as she needed medication to reduce the risk of stroke; it’s an understatement to say she was quite poorly.

My wife was taken to the operating theatre for an emergency cesarean section the next day. I was left alone by the bed and told that they would come and get me for the birth if things were going OK. The longest 30 minutes of my life!

A million permutations ran through my mind; I knew how serious things were, but eventually, as I stood there in poorly fitting wellies, a hair net and scrubs, a nurse came and got me.

Within 10 minutes, our little girl with a head full of jet black hair and weighing an amazing 6lbs 8oz was born. Healthy and full of noise. We had our first cuddles, and I relaxed just a little.

My wife was put back together whilst I took my daughter back to the ward and gave her cuddles and some milk. Eventually, my wife joined us, and over the next week, the team at the hospital gave us the best care imaginable as she recovered from both preeclampsia and the c-section.

They also provided great care to our daughter, who had jaundice which required light treatment.

This Friday, our daughter turns five and is a healthy, happy and funny little lady – all thanks to the amazing team at the NHS! Thank you!

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns