i dunno if any of you remember, but it was exactly 2 years ago today that i did my leeds half marathon and a lot of you lovely cunts sponsored me. i managed to raise about £770 which i was really chuffed about. anyhow, my reason for doing it was that my son was born with a congenital heart problem that they fixed in Leeds back 13 years ago and i wanted to pay something back.
my son's heart problem was known as tetralogy of fallot, which is a reference for the purists, but essentially meant he had a big hole in the heart and a narrowing of the pulmonary artery. they managed to patch the hole and widened the artery back when he was one, but they said there was always going to be the need for further surgery to finally sort out the pulmonary artery and valve. back in 2004 they said this was best done as late as possible when he was as 'grown up as possible'.
well, in january they decided to operate. my boy is now 14 and we were a little concerned that they brought this forward from the original schedule, but they reassured us that techniques had improved in the intervening years and that if they sorted it sooner rather than later then the right hand side of his heart wouldn't over-stretch like an inflated balloon that would never regain its original shape.
he had his operation yesterday and we were both papping ourselves - the original op was harder technically but he picked up an infection in intensive care afterwards which got so bad i had to ring my mum and dad to ask them to come in to say goodbye to him. it was the worst moment of my life. on top of this we more recently found out that the lad who died after surgery, who was a significant part of the reason that they wanted to shut the leeds centre, was operated on by the man who was going to do my boy all those years ago. thankfully that surgeon fell out of his loft and another surgeon did the op on my boy. tragically though, the boy who did die went to the same primary school as my lad and told his teacher the day before that 'he didn't want to die'.
my own son has been saying exactly the same in the last few days and it's been something that's been smashing the inside of my head making me morbid as well. thankfully he didn't, today he made it out of intensive care and into high dependency. i'm back home for the evening feeling incredibly grateful for the NHS. the staff have been out of this world; their skills, professionalism and dedication amazes and impresses me beyond articulation. our country has created and nurtured something amazing and special over the last 60 years and yet it's taken for granted by plebs and undervalued by the establishment.
increasing doubt, decreasing hope, even my imaginary friend went and changed his mind.