What Great Ormond Street Hospital means to me

We go to my Mam's for dinner on a Wednesday, even if I'm at work Mark will still go there with the kids. Recently while I've been there I've been watching the new Paul O'Grady show filmed at GOSH. 

It's been 4 months since we were at Great Ormond Street Hospital with Martha Grace for our most recent appointment. I miss the place. Every time I see an advert on TV or on social media I get a pang of jealousy that I'm not there.

We've had an admission every year from 2013-2017, ranging from long weekends to 2 months at a time. It's not a place I'm scared of, it's a place that I feel safe in. It's a Hospital that's gone above and beyond for my family and we wouldn't be the family of 5 we are today had it not been for GOSH. So far this year, we've had two outpatients appointments; once for Martha in April and then the following month for Osh & Isabella. As it stands now we are due back there for Martha's next appointment in October. 

Every day I am grateful that the 5 open heart surgeries and countless other procedures we've put Martha through have been worth it to have a happy (almost 5) year old running around living her best life. 

I still feel anxious before every appointment, getting worse the closer we get to appointment day. I pray with every fiber of my being that they won't say she needs another operation, that she's stable and we can go back to living a "normal" life for another 6 months. I can still feel my heart thumping as we pass the HSBC and turn down the Bernard Street so we can cut across through Herbrand Street to get to Great Ormond Street. But once we walk in through the main doors - I feel calm. It's as if my anxiety knows that I've arrived at my "safe place" and that regardless of the outcome of that day, I'm in the best possible place. It no longer feels like a Hospital in a clinical sense to me, it feels like a second home. I know my way around and everyone there is so friendly.

So, every Wednesday as I watch Paul O'Grady's Little Heroes - I'll be keeping an eye out for a nurse or a Doctor we recognise or maybe even one of the bed spaces that Martha's stayed in during one of her admissions. I'll be grateful for our time there and the collective four months we did spend there means we haven't needed to be there in 2018. A whole year without Martha needing surgery (her first in her whole life).

But there will be a small part of me longing for our second home, our safe place.


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