My Granddaughter is coming to play with me today, she is 18 months old. It is a wonderful feeling when she puts her arms around me, and calls out ‘Nannysooz come and play with me.' This is happening because of the pioneering work that the Royal Brompton hospital has done.

In 1973 I was diagnosed with acute cardioenteritus because some bacteria had entered my bloodstream through a broken tooth. 

It travelled to my weakest area in my body, which was my bicuspid Aortic Valve and a hole in my left ventricle in my heart. 

I was in my last six weeks of a three year primary school teacher training course in Bristol and had no idea I was seriously ill.

As a child I was diagnosed with a heart murmur and used to go regularly to The National Heart Hospital for check ups.

My consultant was Emeritus Professor Dr Jane Somerville and this was where GUCH (Grown-up Congenital Heart Disease) began its life. 

I was one of the very first members. I was admitted for an angiogram and put in a ward with only four beds and three other teenagers. We had our own kitchen and television, which in those days were very advanced. 

My first operation in The National Heart Hospital was performed by Sir Donald Ross in 1973. He replaced my diseased aortic valve with a homograph valve and 25 years later it was again replaced by Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.

Professor Yacoub gave me the further gift of life by performing the Ross procedure on me. So named after Sir Donald Ross.

This time I was admitted to Royal Brompton Hospital. The Ross procedure is when my natural Pulmonary valve replaced my then worn out Aortic Valve and in its place I had another donated homograph valve. 

It is now 2018 and after having two sons and a full career teaching. I am a fit, healthy 67 year old who lives life to the full and embraces every new day. I am very grateful to Royal Brompton and to Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub.