Since my last blog, I've been talking with one of our senior consultants where I learnt more about Royal Brompton’s ECMO service. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Royal Brompton is one of only five severe acute respiratory failure centres in England to offer ECMO and nearly every time, this equipment and this expertise saves a person’s life when no other method would work.

I was told about a 26 year-old mother of three who is in our hospital right now who had a cardiac arrest following the birth of her third child. She would definitely have died if the ECMO team had not got to her in time. Thankfully she is now recovering and will be back with her family soon. The joy and relief from our top doctors when they save a life like this is almost tangible. They drive as fast as they can to the patient and put them on this space-age piece of equipment and, in many cases, literally bring people back to life. 

The weather is set fair for the coming weeks – I have been following it every day. So, I think we will be blessed with sunshine and balmy breezes for our two landmark events on Friday June 29th and Sunday July 1st

The first is – of course – our Champagne Picnic taking place at the picturesque ground of Harefield Hospital. What better way to end the week, mark the 70th anniversary of our amazing NHS, enjoy summer with friends and family… And know that you are supporting our appeal to buy organ care systems (OCS) for our world-class transplant unit at Harefield. This is definitely FUNdraising with a great big smile. Come and join us.

And the second is our huge Grand Canal Challenge – as participant numbers approach 200, this is a wonderful challenge (though not a race!) which links our two fantastic Hospitals along the canal – a distance of 26 miles. We have loads of cyclists (including my intrepid husband) and a lot of walkers – most of them doing the half marathon distance so that is still a good stretch, and several runners. The event finishes with music and food at Harefield for our special Finishers’ Festival. This is one of my favourite days of the year – I have one of the best jobs – I am cheering our challengers in at the end of the route.  Many of them are children, and they are so proud of themselves – and so are we! Will I see you there? I hope so.