Skip to main content

Help write a book!

Hello everyone.  I’m Kate Bull, a Cardiologist at Great Ormond St – but not for much longer as I’m retiring!

I have started writing a book about the history of the treatment of Congenital Heart Disease – but telling the story from the point of view of the patients and their families. There are already a couple of books about famous heart surgeons, new technology, triumphs of modern medicine etc.  This needs to be different, so I want your stories.  

Do you remember waking up in an oxygen tent? Having a tracheostomy? Having a cardiac catheter in the ‘old days’? A scary MRI test? 

What about some good times – feeling better with more energy, having a baby, getting home after a big operation.  What about your parents, can they help?

It can’t all be about ‘happy endings’ I want difficult times too – fears and worries of all sorts.  Lonely times in hospital as a child, tough decisions as an adult, disappointments.  

I have just finished ‘chapter 1’ about the very first surviving open heart Fallot repair in 1954.  His ‘heart-lung machine’ was another human being hooked up with pipes to be the oxygenator while the surgeons were operating.  Mike Shaw, the patient, is 70 this year and sends his regards! 

Later chapters will include stuff about diagnostic tests, coming in for surgery, anaesthetics (anyone remember going to sleep?), waking up after an operation, getting home post-op, adolescence/growing up dealing with challenges, ‘next generation’, uncertain futures and so on.   Any help with descriptions to illustrate these would be very welcome. 

If you have good stories or intense memories (or perhaps your parents have?) please get in touch…e-mail is best, then perhaps I could call you or meet you.

Best wishes and many thanks.

« View all News
image description

Help & Advice

Information on managing your heart condition, including Physical, Emotional and Mental Health.

Read more
image description Make a Donation

Make a donation to The Somerville Foundation today and you will help us to continue to offer the valuable services we provide to those born with a heart condition.