God save our NHS

I talk a lot about Team Sam. Team Sam is headed up by, well Samuel of course, and consists of not only his Dad and I, but all the people who love and care for him – that includes Julia’s House who look after him and his therapists and doctors who oversee his care.

But I must say one massive component in Team Sam, I mean without it we wouldn’t be able to do what we do so easily, is our old faithful NHS.

Hopefully during our lives most of us will only have to rely on the NHS a few times and for only minor things. We, however, are so reliant on the NHS for everything. As a family our biggest financial cost of having Samuel was me having to give up work. When I was pregnant our intention was for me to go back part-time, whether that was for three or four days (we were still negotiating that right up until his arrival). But we soon realised that there was no option and I was to  give up work and be his carer.

But wow, Samuel must cost the NHS a pretty penny. Off the top of my head they pay for:

  • All his medicines (and don’t forget he has quite a few and I have been reliably informed by my local chemist that they aren’t cheap)
  • Ketogenic formula
  • Pump equipment and bits and bobs
  • Gastrostomy care and related bits and bobs
  • Syringes
  • Various therapies including hydrotherapy and physiotherapy
  • Special buggy
  • Special tumble form seat
  • Special high chair
  • EEGs (recording of electrical activity in the brain)
  • Stuff to test Samuel’s blood ketones and glucose – monitor, lancers and the test strips (one box of 10 ketone strips costs £30 & we use two a day)
  • Paedetrician, Neurologist, Genetics, Child Development, Community Nurse, Speech and Language Therapist, Dietician
  • Treatment and care when admitted as an inpatient (although Samuel has only been admitted once as an emergency patient since coming out of NICU)

I know I’ve forgotten a number of things but I think you get the idea. Anyway, the fantastic NHS pays for all of that. Its all free. We don’t have to have special medical or health insurance. We just get it all because we live in England. I love the NHS. The NHS has helped our little lad defy the odds.

One of Samuel’s best friends Liam lives in America. They don’t have the NHS like us and his Mum and Dad have to worry about medical and health insurance. I think they may not even be covered for Liam starting the Ketogenic Diet which we can’t even imagine happening here. I must admit that I do feel guilty about how lucky we are and it makes me feel all the more grateful.

So to you NHS here is a massive thank you from Samuel, our family and also all the families in this country who benefit like we do.

And so a message to Mr Cameron. The NHS is vital for children like Samuel and without our free medical care, I can’t even imagine what we’d do and the effect it would have on Samuel. Would it mean that we’d have to make certain choices as to which therapies, or worse, which medicines he could have because we, or our insurance company, would be paying and couldn’t afford (or wouldn’t pay out) for certain things? Would we have to look at cheaper alternatives for some of Samuel’s care and treatment? Hands off our NHS Mr Cameron, I’m warning you.

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7 thoughts on “God save our NHS

  1. We had a little taste of what life’s like without the NHS when we lived in Jersey. The hospital was free but a trip to the GP cost £30 a visit. You suddenly found yourself waiting until you were in agony before going for antibiotics, and wondering if your child was REALLY so ill that a bit of Calpol wouldn’t do the trick. It wasn’t good. Made us realise what we’ve always taken for granted – and how much we all see the negative in a service which largely does a lot of good.
    By the way can I join Team Sam? 😉

  2. Thanks for the mention of Liam! Yes I won’t get into details or this comment may turn into a rant but here in the states the health care is a crazy subject. Liam has been fully covered then not covered at all and then back to covered again more than once in his three and a half years each time putting the possibility of an isurmountable mountain of debt in front of the stability of our family. Ventilators, suction rigs, in-line humidifiers, feeding pump all of the tubes and filters and catheters and syringes, before Liam even sees a doctor or a medicine we are talking a few thousand dollars a week and we haven’t even talked about nursing help to assist enough so that Liam’s mom and I can have enough time to shower. AAArgh. See I told you this would turn into a rant.

    Anyway, thanks to our new federal healthcare law, for now, Liam is fairly well covered and we are able to get pretty much everything we need since we know how to fight for it. After the next election? Who knows. Laws could be changed and regulations imposed or lifted and we could find ourselves in a different situation. It’s unlikely at this point but still a possibility and so I will probably continue to worry about all of that stuff.

    I don’t know much about your NHS but if it’s helping Team Sam this much then I’d have to say I’m a big fan.

  3. Aack, accidentally posted early my already too long comment so now there are two…sorry

    I hope that Mr Cameron does the right thing. I know what it’s like to have to worry about politics because of it’s direct and immediate effect on the health and well being of your child. It can be so stressful. what I also know is that Sam will get whatever it is he needs no matter what Mr. Cameron decides because of the strength of Team Sam and the community that you have built around you. You’ve done that, and there’s no doubt that with you and Sam’s Dad leading the way, Team Sam will know how to fight to get everything that Samuel needs too.

    (Sorry again for being so long winded. Bit of a sensitive topic for me.)

  4. I think the NHS is fantastic, and could not have got through the last few years without it as so many family members were hospitalised for so long. But I do get riled about the postcode lottery inherent in it. How can full chromosome testing (for example) be offered in one county but not another, depending on which hospital or medical facility you live close to? And scans during pregnancy, different in different health authorities. I wish it was more straight-forward. And yet though not perfect I wouldn’t be without it. Consider the alternatives – frightening. I can’t imagine how people without an NHS cope.

  5. We love the NHS too!

    When Elfie was younger she was on daily doses of Sodium Chloride (salt solution) and I couldn’t believe when I read her bottles of meds cost up to £500 each!! Bonkers.

  6. Pingback: God save our NHS | Love All Blogs

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