24 April 2017
Today, Mr Olivier Ghez, paediatric and congenital cardiac surgeon at Royal Brompton Hospital, has been announced as the winner of ITV’s Good Morning Britain Health Star Award.
Mr Ghez was nominated in the Children’s Health Star category by Royal Brompton families for the lifesaving surgery he performs on children diagnosed with congenital cardiac conditions. He said it was a complete surprise to hear he’d won, “I am so humbled to receive this award. It is a great honour to receive such a testimony from the families of my patients.”
Lydia Strachan, was one of many Royal Brompton parents who nominated Mr Ghez to be considered as a health hero by the Good Morning Britain panel. She nominated him for his extraordinary work in saving her daughter Hester’s life.
Hester was born prematurely with serious heart complications and was under Mr Ghez’s care while a patient in the paediatric intensive care unit at Royal Brompton Hospital.
Lydia explains, “Olivier performed multiple operations on Hester to repair her heart, which, because she was so fragile and tiny, were not straightforward procedures.
“It was just before Hester’s first birthday that he decided to take a huge risk and perform a complex open heart surgery when her heart was only about one and-a-half inches in size. It was extremely risky but we knew we couldn’t wait any longer and this operation would give her a much better chance of survival.”
After kissing her daughter goodbye before the operation, it was nearly ten hours before Lydia received the call from Mr Ghez to say that it was a success.
Lydia said, “Olivier came and sat with my husband and I, still wearing his surgical scrubs and clearly exhausted from the operation, to explain every detail of the procedure and the next steps. What was even more impressive was that he came to visit Hester on the ward, every day after that.”
She adds, “What really stands out is Olivier’s level of commitment to the families. As parents we literally put our child’s life in his hands but there’s nothing more reassuring than having someone like Olivier, who obviously has the technical skills but is also completely committed to caring for his patients.”
Lydia now refers to Mr Ghez and what he did for Hester as “medical magic” and also thanks the specialist paediatric team at Royal Brompton: “We talk about them as part of our family. There hasn’t been a single person at Royal Brompton who hasn’t been amazing in the support and dedication they’ve given to us.”
Mr Ghez added: “It is our whole team at Royal Brompton Hospital which allows us to deliver the best possible specialist care for children with congenital heart disease".
Highlights from the event will air on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday 25 April from 06:00.