Born a Blue Baby in 1939,(This colour is the result of good and bad blood mixing because of the hole between the chambers in the Heart) there wasn’t much hope of me living more than a few years.
Walking a few feet would result in me passing out with no warning….waking up on someones knee…..sometimes blind for a few minutes, I guess this was until the blood circulated finally back to my head.
For ten years my Mother worked tirelessly, contacting different doctors and hospitals to see if anything could be done, all with different results.
Some would say she musn’t give up hope, others saying there was no hope of a cure in my expected life-span.
By 1949, Mr. Philip Allison,a surgeon at LGI had seen an operation performed by a genius from Americal call ‘BLAYLOCK’ who realised that by diverting the artery in the left arm could bypass the blood supply from the hole, so giving the patient a reasonable chance of an improved existance, if not a fully-fit one.
As luck had it, the NHS had already taken off the year before in 1948.
These two combinations were to ultimately save my life, but not before an excrutiating procedure beforehand.
February 1949 my Tenthbirthday was spent in Ward 23 which was at that time a Ladies ward, and during this long stay I had tests which I can remember to this day.
In a side room I had catheters inserted in both arms, whilst still wide awake, and in much pain. I remember crying and kind nurses doing all they could to hold me still. I still have the scars to show for this. Afterwards after complaining to my Mother, she queried why I was left to experience the full horror and pain of this, to be told, because I was so frail, they didn’t dare give me an anasthetic at that time.
Fast forward to November 1949, again admitted, this time for surgery by Mr. Philip Allison the most distinguished person you could ever wish to meet,.
The dreaded day was delayed several times because I had a chill, and on the 20th December I had my operation called the Blaylock.
I remember my parents coming to see me the following morning and being amazed at my new Pink colour. Within a few weeks I was up and walking and duly went to school and did what most Eleven year old children do.
At the age of Thirty I underwent a Fallots Tratology at Hammersmith, and have had a few scary moments since, all proving nothing to worry about.
So here I am a Seventy year old, still very active, with two super children, and four grandchildren all thanks to that wonder man back in 1949 called Philip Alllison. My daughter is called Allison with two L’s after his name.
And to think I was given months to live Sixty years ago.
Oh. yes, I’m delighted to be a Pensioner, after all I didn’t think it possible all those years ago. So next time you see a Pensioner moan about their age, tell they don’t know how lucky they are.