Happy birthday, Dad

It’s my Dad’s birthday today. I wouldn’t normally celebrate it via a blog post, but his latest birthday’s a big one – and it’s a miracle he made it at all.

It’s been a tough year. But after gall bladder trouble in May, a recurrence in June, surgery, complications, emergency surgery, a month in intensive care and two further months of slow recovery, he finally made it home – and he’s sprightlier by the day.

His birthday is testimony to the incredible skill, dedication and care of all the staff that looked after him at Pembury Hospital. The care he received over a three-month period, particularly from the staff in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, was humbling to witness; I can’t express our family’s gratitude enough.

And of course, plenty of credit has to go to Dad, whose own courage and spirit in returning from the brink has been inspiring to behold. I can only hope I’ve inherited some of it.

We’ve been lucky to witness such a success story. But even if Dad’s tale hadn’t had such a happy ending (which seemed likely for much of the summer), we couldn’t have faulted the care he received. It makes our government’s zealous dismantling of the National Health Service all the harder to read about, and it’s sobering to think we won’t be able to count on the same level of care when we’re his age (unless we can afford to pay for it, of course).

Assuming you’re in the UK you can still (just about) do your bit to save the NHS.

And in the meantime, happy birthday Dad. Here’s to plenty more!

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