Patient presentation at 2007 conference

The first of our annual ACHD conferences was held at Southampton General Hospital on 19 October 2007, attended by many medical professionals including cardiac nurses, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons.

There were also two guest speakers who were not medical professionals, but heart patients. Jonathan Upton and Tracey Ellison were both born with complex congenital heart conditions and are under the adult congenital cardiac team at Southampton. They were invited to speak about their personal life experiences of actually living with a congenital heart condition, and how all the advancements and achievements had affected them. They concluded their talks with the following short film, which they produced together.

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(Music courtesy of http://www.danosongs.com)

Jonathan, who gives voluntary talks once a year to nurses on the GUCH nurse training program run by London South Bank University, said, “We both spoke about our personal experiences of growing up with a serious heart condition and some of the challenges we face. It’s not just about the medical issues, sometimes people forget that there are other areas of life that can be a challenge when you have a heart condition such as, employment, getting a mortgage, life assurance, travel insurance and many other ‘normal’ things."