Not Your “Normal Holiday”
7/2/2014 1:42 PM
By Paul Willgoss
Is my passport in date?
Yup, I’m legal to go to Switzerland
Is my travel insurance still OK?
Yup, travel insurance can be a pain in the backside for GUCHs, but I’m still covered by the travel insurance that comes with my bank account.
Not yet, but available over the counter—must remember, it’s francs not Euros!
All saved in multiple places, and printed out.
Proofed and getting ready for printing.
Content done, just need to tart it up.
Beginning to sound a little different?
Oh yes: running gear to pack, stuff to play football in, suit is at the dry cleaners, medal ready to be pinned…
In a couple of weeks I’m off to the ToughHearts conference, the biennial get-together of European GUCHs. I’ve got the honour and pleasure of representing both my organisation and my country—The Children’s Heart Federation covers all of Great Britain and Northern Ireland—and seeing old friends and making new ones. The conferences always cover new ideas in our care, new ways of thinking and, most importantly, how we can take what we learn back to our own countries and use it.
It’ll also be a transition for me, as I’m standing down from the working group of the European Congenital Heart Group. No big reasons: I’ve done my tours of duty and am about to start the final two years of my distance learning degree so will need all the time I can have. It’s odd, because it is a genuine transition. I’ve tried to lead this iteration of the ECHG to build structures that will outlast all of the current members. Will it be enough, I don’t know – but if I’m needed in the future my friends will know where to find me…
So wish us well, dear readers, for the fun in Switzerland—it’s not often that GUCHs from around the world get to share and it’ll be a good one!
Marathon runner, GUCH (Grown Up with Congenital Heart Disease), long-distance hiker, charity trustee, patient advocate and whisky lover—Paul Willgoss is all of these and more. A member of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire, his efforts both in front and behind the scenes for those with congenital heart defects have been recognized at the highest levels in his native U.K.
1 comment(s) so far...
By Connie Reddington on
7/2/2014 5:42 PM
help and advice please paul
im from ireland and im a achder also. Myself and a fellow achder are really struggling here trying to drum up support to start a support group n inrland but hitting walls. There is such a lack of awareness n ireland and we have found very little in the line of support for achd survivors. Any advice would b gratefully accepted and we would love to becone mire involved abd bring new ideas accross the water and give ireland a bit of a pusg when it comes to achd.
I would be very grateful if u could assist us in any way.
Thanks a million