My son James suffered from Marfans syndrome which caused him to have various issues with his heart, and was a long-term patient at Harefield. James underwent his first major surgery in the summer of 2001.
Further surgery followed in 2004, with frequent check-ups and visits in between. James was then able to enjoy a prolonged period without surgery, with at least an annual check-up to monitor the health of his heart. However, further major surgery was required again in April 2017.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of his team at Harefield, James was unable to recover from his surgery and passed away aged 35.
I am and will always be extremely grateful to the staff at Harefield, for their medical expertise in helping James through his various surgeries, their monitoring of his condition and always being on hand to provide help and advice. I'm also very grateful for the accommodation provided at Parkwood, which allowed me and other family and friends to be close to James during his visits to Harefield.
James was a constant inspiration to his family and friends and met the many health challenges he faced with courage, optimism and a unique sense of humour. James had a very long association with Harefield and always received amazing care, holding all the staff in the very highest esteem.   
Following James’s death, along with family and friends, we marked the anniversary of his death by holding a Ball in his memory. This was organised by James’s sister, Victoria and me, and whilst being an emotional and bittersweet evening, raised an incredible £10,000, two thirds of which will go to the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity to help them carry on their amazing work.
As well as holding the Ball, some of James’s friends decided to run the Edinburgh marathon in May 2018 in James’s memory to raise additional funds for charities associated with James. Three of James’s friends, Wayne, Helen and James completed the full marathon, whilst me and Victoria completed the half-marathon. Fundraising for this has so far reached over £2,000, with a third of this going to the Harefield.