The NHS is celebrating 70 years of service and, like many people, I owe them my life.
I was a very sickly child and extremely prone to chest infections.
It would be harsh to blame my mum for this, but I’ve absolutely no idea what she was thinking when she continuously insisted I go to school with snot-ridden kids – because schools are notorious breeding grounds for germs.
The antidote for colds at the time was rubbish Linctus cough medicine and Mac throat lozenges – the fact these lozenges were available at the front of sweet-shop counters and not locked away in a pharmacy medicine cabinet, tells you everything about their effectiveness on healing the body.
It was little wonder that I was always developing flu and Bronchitis and at 14, I was enduring my third stay in hospital that calendar year, when I collapsed and got hurriedly transferred to The London Hospital where I was put into Intensive Care on a life support machine suffering with pneumonia.
Whilst there, two bizarre things happened…
When I had been unconscious and unresponsive for a few days, my dad was asked when he thought it would be appropriate to switch the ventilator off and he jokingly (?) replied: “If he doesn’t respond in a couple of days, you can unplug the machine and plug in the hoover.”
More bizarrely, whilst I was lying there unconscious, I seemingly floated up towards the ceiling and looked down on my lifeless body as doctors and nurses rushed in to perform CPR.
I seemed to be heading towards some brilliant bright light which I’ve never seen the likes of since – certainly not since energy saving lightbulbs were invented – but was told it was “not my time” and I was to return to my body.
I later learned I’d had an Out of Body Experience (O.B.E) which is common in near death scenarios.
It’ll probably be the only “O.B.E” I’ll get. But, I’m enjoying my second life, thanks to the NHS.