Jack celebrates 90th birthday in style – 18 months on from serious heart surgery

06 Jun 2016

In October 2014, Jack was admitted to St Bartholomew’s Hospital for “routine” heart care – an aortic valve replacement. He was 88 at the time.

Jack presenting the cheque to cardiac staff at St Bartholomew's

The day before he was due to leave the hospital, his condition deteriorated and the cardiac team needed to perform emergency surgery – during which time his life expired for 10 minutes.

It was an understandably difficult and uncertain time for his family, and they were all unsure whether he’d be able to recover from the trauma of what had happened.

However, over many weeks and with continual care from the staff at the intensive care unit, Jack’s condition improved.

Now, 18 months on and fully recovered, his family arranged for a special 90th birthday surprise – a vintage 1950 black cab to drive Jack, who is an ex-London taxi driver, into the square at St Bartholomew’s to meet the cardiac team and present a cheque for £1,000.

Jack – along with his daughter Lynda and family – met Julie Middlehurst, part of the cardiac team that treated him in 2014, and Ben Adams, a cardiac registrar at the hospital.

“It was a great way to celebrate Jack’s 90th,” said Lynda. “My father owes his extension of life to the surgeons and nursing staff at St Bartholomew’s and had his relapse not occurred at the hospital, then he would not be here today.

“It was humbling to witness the staff at work, with such devoted attention. Indeed, this is the very best of the National Health Service and certainly deserves a higher recognition to the wider community.”

Simon Pitts, Community Manager at Barts Charity, added: “We are so grateful to Jack for making this amazing donation to Ward 4B HDU and the staff that work there.

“His story is testament to the incredible care that the Unit provides every day, and for Jack to remember them on his special birthday is a wonderful gesture.”

If you would like to know more about in-celebration fundraising or donations, please get in touch or visit the link below.

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