Tag Archives: hospital

No doom and gloom just bravery and beauty

Chantelle Msumbuga

What’s the connection between Charles Dickens and this: Should have died in infancy. Didn’t. At the age of four had meningitis and went into a coma. Recovered. Had a stroke with complications that lasted a year. Survived. Major blood transfusions. Long term organ damage. Hours of chelation therapy five times a week to reduce iron overload from blood transfusions. Bruising, discoloration, pain, pain, pain…

Dickens is renowned for cataloging the suffering of the poor and downtrodden, but this is not the torment visited by his imagination on some poor character. It’s real suffering. It’s what happens when a young girl is born with sickle cell anaemia.

A young girl like Chantelle Msumbuga. She’s now a young woman – almost 16 years old. Last weekend she told me and some others about the succession of pain and setbacks she’s undergone in her short life. And she was so cheerful and beautiful as she told it. Her blog is here. She educated us about the condition and the very invasive and intensive treatment she received at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) for Children.

Liliane’s lovely buns – you have to bite through the head of Charles Dickens to taste them.

Now do you get it?

After JM Barrie and Peter Pan, Charles Dickens is the famous figure most associated with this London hospital for children. Shortly after it opened, he helped save it from bankrupcy and to double in size.

That’s why Charles Dickens fan Christopher West (who also lectures under the nom de plume Charles Dickens London) arranged a special Dickens Day to raise funds for GOSH – to mark the connection between writer and hospital during this year, the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth.

Liliane the beautiful cake maker from the Cote d’Ivoire

Oh – there’s another reason too. It’s not just Chantelle who medical staff at GOSH are helping. They also saved the life of Christopher’s granddaughter not so long ago. So, like Chantelle he’s also saying thank you for personal reasons.

Chantelle and Christopher were helped and supported by lots of other people too. People like the Kings College Chorus, schools, experts and Liliane. She’s from the Cote d’Ivoire, has beautfully accented French, beautiful buns (no not that! I do actually mean the buns in the picture) and is just beautiful.

There was a lot of beauty around that day – and that includes Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under art, D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, friends

Trust me I’m a doctor…

Trust me, I’m a doctor… or a nurse or an anaesthetist or a radiologist or just a bloke painting the corridor wearing a white coat. Easy mistake to make. Happened to a mate of mine. The people who collared him were overwhelmingly grateful that he’d saved their son’s life. He hadn’t the heart to tell them he was only there to give the walls another layer of ghastly green.

But hospitals and their long-suffering, truly dedicated, kind hearted, plastic glove stretching, tonsil tickling, into ear peering, chest listening, just bend overing, won’t hurt a bittering, ooh that looks nastying, trust me I’m a doctoring and please… just relax, lovely lovely staff – are on my mind for two reasons.

I know that a sainted reader of this very blog will be working in one over Christmas. And also – the Loose Bloggers Consortium threatened to shove me off my trolley if I didn’t write something about hospitals. (Ha! Too late – I’ve been off my trolley for years now.)

So in honour of those caring souls sharing their Hypocratic benevolence on hospital wards at this time of year, here’s a guide to the abbreviations they use. (Just so the rest of us can be quicker on the uptake and not force them to waste time explaining themselves.) Those of a sensitive disposition may scroll straight to the bottom for the less offensive video.

15 Comments

Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium

But I ordered the lobster

I was at the memorial service for former BBC broadcasting colleague Allan Robb today (9th November). Allan died earlier this year. The service at All Souls in London was lovingly well organised, poignant and joyous.

People spoke – very aptly. One, his old friend Nicky Campbell, told this story (apologies for any inaccuracies on my part): Nicky and Allan were out one day when Allan collapsed in the street. An ambulance arrived and after some effort, Nicky managed to chivvy Allan inside. Pleased to have a new audience for his stories, Allan entertained the ambulance crew en route to hospital. On arrival Allan was decanted and wheeled to a ward, whereupon some “four day old NHS mush” was presented to him.

Never failing to rise to the occasion, Allan immediately responded: “But I ordered the lobster.”

Thanks to the organisers – and Allan – for a great day. It was lovely to see old friends and remember.

2 Comments

Filed under friends, life, media

Welcome to your new job?

I started a new job this week. This video seems appropriate. (Seen at ComaGirlX.)

And there’s still no respite in the white shite (as snow should now be described) round our way. (Sigh. Brr.)

But on happier notes:
Q: Who’s the nicest man in a hospital?
A: The ultra-sound man.

Q: Who covers his shifts while he’s away?
A: The hip-replacement guy.      (Both courtesy of Popbitch.)

Also (fanfare) SHE’S BACK!The Little Pinch of Salt. Everyone can do with a bit.

And just time for a quick glance over to Portugal where you may some day see these images plastered on a crumbling wall.

Lisboa / Lisbon wall paintings (from "The Cardinal de la Ville presents"). Click on the picture for his site.

1 Comment

Filed under life