22 September 2016
Celebrating 50 years of open heart surgery
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol)
celebrate with patient on the 50th anniversary of their open heart
surgery, performed at the old Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick
Children on St Michael's Hill.
UH Bristol is delighted to welcome a previous patient of the
Trust, Edward Eagle, who is returning to Bristol to visit staff and
patients at the modern Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and
Bristol Heart Institute to mark the anniversary of his open heart
Edward said: "I am thrilled to be returning to the children's
hospital, 50 years to the day, to celebrate the anniversary of my
open heart surgery.
"I was born with a hole-in-the-heart (ASD) which was
rectified by the hospital in 1966. I have no recollection of the
procedure but I do remember how ill I was before the operation
having been hospitalised on several occasions and partially
remember my recovery time in hospital. A technique in which I was
hooked up to my father called cross-circulation, pioneered by Dr
Walton Lillehei of Minnesota, was used to keep me alive during the
operation." Although the children's hospital has moved to a modern
site, I look forward to seeing the transformation the cardiac
service has made since my operation, and meeting patients who may
be in a similar position to the one I was in all those years
Edward with a picture of the
machine used in 1966, and the device they use for the same
Parry, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Bristol Royal Hospital
for Children, said: "We look forward to welcoming Edward, and
showing him our paediatric and adult cardiac services as they
"Cross-circulation was a rare technique that was used to keep
patients alive during surgery, and as technology has evolved
machines now carry out this role. Edward's passion and gratitude is
not only welcomed by our staff but our patients as well."
Edward concluded: "Fifty years is testament not only to me but
to the professional, dedicated and caring staff of the children's
hospital and NHS. As for my father, Edward Eagle, he offered his
life to save mine by being my heart-lung machine. I hope, by
surviving 50 years, that I am worthy of his efforts and that he is
proud of what he did."
"It is with awe and gratitude that I think of all those
people who I do not know and did not know who worked together to
save my life. I sincerely hope that I am worthy of them all.
If I can give just one patient the belief and confidence that
heart surgery is survivable and that a full life can be lived after
heart surgery then my visit will have been a worthwhile"
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