My lovely partner of 32 years has just had her life saved by the wonderful free British national health system. Thirty years ago in the first few years of our union she had a very serious brain aneurysm that hemorrhaged. It was a very seriously life threatening thing, she was fortunate to have survived the initial event, a lot of people don't.
She then had to undergo an eight hour neurosurgical operation that only one brilliant doctor in Britain was prepared to attempt because Elaine's aneurysm was located under the frontal lobe of her brain and that meant that tha surgeon, Doctor Turner, had to open her skull, LIFT UP the front part of her BRAIN, locate the problem artery and seal off the blood flow into that part of it to stop more blood leaking in to it, more leakage would have certainly killed her.
Doctor Turner succeeded at enormous cost to himself.
Before the operation took place he told me that at best there was a fifty fifty likelihood that the procedure it'self would kill her, that's one in two.
Such was the stress intensity put upon that man that after he had successfully placed the life saving clip he had a massive heart attack.
Another man had to close off Elaine's surgery for him.
Elaine and Doctor Turner were both taken to the intensive care unit.
The last I heard of the man was that it ended his career as a neurosurgeon, the most brilliant one of his time in Britain, he became a consultant helping others to learn to do the wonderful work that he had done.
A few weeks ago Elaine was hit by a headache that refused to go away, after a couple of weeks of it her right eye lid started to droop and she was seeing double. So she ended up in hospital for checks to be made.
It turned out that she had another aneurysm close to the old one on a different artery in her brain, thank God it had not yet burst.
Today she had it fixed.
Neurosurgical techniques have improved vastly sine dear old Mr Turner's day, again, thank God.
It can be done now, provided the aneurysm hasn't burst by microsurgery that involved no opening or puncturing of the skull.
What they do is insert a very fine wire probe into an artery in the patient's thigh, it has a light and a tiny video camera on the end of it and they guide it all the way from there to the artery in the brain where the aneurysm is located. As far as I can gather the wire is hollow and once the probe reaches the required destination they fire a load of microscopic Platinum coils up the wire and into the arterial carbuncle, the aneurysm.
It is a very dangerous procedure because the pressure required to do that can burst the artery at the weak point where the Platinum coils have been shot to, as it sometimes does. But if they don't try the patient is going to die anyway.
Once in the aneurysm the coils lock together as coils do and partially block the artery. Then the human immune system reacts to the presence of the foreign body and starts attacking it with antibodies. They plug up the rest of the space and do the same job as the clip that Doctor Turner had to put in place by hand.
When this incredible technique was first perfected the Platinum coils alone, for one aneurysm, cost ten thousand pounds.
I don't know why but it now costs four thousand.
Elaine and I are not financially well off so her life would have been lost were it not for that hard won system.
Every British citizen who suffers from such a terrible thing is entitled to that Platinum because many good men spent their lives fighting the British government and the establishment that governs them to bring laws in to force that made sure of it, how brilliant was that? It made the common man in at least that respect as rich as a king because a king could hope for no finer treatment no matter how much money he had squeezed out of the labour of the poor.
Elaine survived it with no detrimental consequences happening, and I say again, thank God and the wonderful men who fought for so long to make it so.
The current British government is the worst enemy of our human rights that this country in which true democracy despite the government actually won us that great and wonderful and equal universal gift. They want to take it away and make you personally pay for it for the sake of their profit and still they will take your taxes.
On April 1st the really big start of the stealing of our rights to health paid for by the common wealth is going to happen. Bills put through parliament are going to kick off the privatisation for profit for the rich of OUR NHS., the one we worked to pay for.
Are we so apathetic and stupid now that we are going to let a few spoilt rich ex Eton schoolboy psychopaths do that to us?