#176 Oh Shit, She’s Up! 10 Years On
Today is a significant day for personal reflection. 10 years ago, on 26 June 2009, I had major surgery (a right hemi-hepatectomy) to remove a large growth (15cm diameter) on my liver. During my 5-month illness, I mostly rested as I only had the energy to ‘be’ to cope with my symptoms, but it was undoubtedly a traumatic and busy time for my family.
Fortunately, my post-surgical healing was quick, supported by many great professionals, friends and colleagues and we were back in no time enjoying fun times as a family by the sea.
As I went through my diagnosis, surgery, and recovery, it did, however, force me to face my own mortality and since that time, more than ever, I appreciate the opportunities I have and those I can create.
My expert consultant surgeon, Professor John Buckels, retired from his NHS role months later and I have been pleased to read how his career continued as he joined Medicine Sans Frontier to perform surgery in developing countries. On every occasion I met with him, he was a man living his why. I remain grateful for not only his expert surgical skills but for the compassion, he showed me, my husband and our then 3-year-old daughter throughout my illness. He made late-night phone calls, weekend hospital visits and was always accessible to the many calls from junior staff and other hospitals leading up to my surgery. What a blessing to be cared for by someone living their purpose. He remains a strong role model and I was pleased to spend many hours fundraising to support the continuing work of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Liver Team. I baked some 5,000+ cupcakes, trekked the Great Wall Of China with my sister and received generous donations from many people keen to support the great healthcare we receive from our NHS locally and across the UK. It is important to have gratitude and find a way to say thank you.
Whether a surgeon, a teacher, a manager, an engineer, a porter, a salesman, a banker, an actor, an IT analyst, a business founder, a designer, a soldier or a parent, every person and every profession has beneficiaries, people we are in service to. Each person we serve deserves to interact with the best of us, with people like us who are living their purpose. Having spent the majority of my career working in healthcare too, I have had the pleasure of supporting highly motivated people and this has influenced my work since leaving employment to start my own business. I dedicate my time working with business founders who are driven to create value and impact aligned to their purpose.
I encourage you to be bold, to know your value, to connect with the right people and to expand your impact. Share your value with others, stand up and stand out.
As I take this the opportunity to reflect, to celebrate and be grateful for the last 10 years of family, happiness, creativity, leadership, and health, I am utterly inspired by this quote by Steve Maraboli “I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, “aw shit, he’s up!”