My name is Osob Elmi and here's my story.
I was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at birth. Since then I have had open heart surgery three times at Bristol’s Children’s Hospital and the Heart Institute. I am now 21.
The level of care you receive and the way you are treated plays a key role in absorbing the overwhelming truth that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. During my years at the Children’s Hospital in particular, the privilege of having one consultant from birth to the age of 18 has been incomparable.
He was responsible for monitoring my progress and development from when I was fragile and young up until when I became an adult and was transferred to the Heart Institute. Saying goodbye was not easy.
But once I became a patient at the Heart Institute things only became better. From my experience at the hospital, I can tell you that the staff made my transition easy for me and my family, making my time and experience worthwhile.
One can only imagine the stress and tough times the family of a patient undergoing heart surgery can go through, but the staff played a key part in helping us to cope with everything. From offering spare rooms and extra bedding for a family member, to giving biscuits and cups of tea, they were understanding and always willing to compromise. Each and every staff member was keen to help and I can honestly say, they treated me as if I was their own. This then took the pressure off my parents, knowing that I was in very good hands.
Having to live with this condition is difficult at times, but I know that I will be treated and looked after by professionals and people who know exactly what they are doing.
When you combine the talented doctors and nurses we have with the advanced facilities and resources that are available and accessible, anyone with a medical condition can almost feel they are no different to someone who is 100% healthy - well that's my opinion of course.
So I would like to take this opportunity to thank my previous consultant Dr Martin, my surgeon Mr Stoica and all the nurses and staff members at the Children’s Hospital and the Heart Institute who work day and night to change - and save - lives.