THE PROGRESS made in heart research is terrific. Many people who would have died in the 1960s are now living longer and more fulfilled lives because of advances.
Almost every family in the country has benefitted from seeing people of all ages thrive and survive.
Much of this success is down the Heart Research UK which is celebrating 50 years of fundraising and researching heart conditions.
The charity was founded by heart surgeon David Watson who was frustrated by the death of a boy who had undergone successful surgery but died from complications.
He was frustrated by the lack of options in the treatment he could offer to patients, as well as the limited aftercare.
Mr Watson set about finding finance. He tried the local health authority and funding bodies in London, but failed.
So he tried the local press. The publicity that ensued set the telephone lines alight with offers and the new charity was born.
Mr Watson realised his dream; heart surgery is safer; medication and drugs mean that blood pressure, angina and high cholesterol can be controlled; and treatments such as bypass surgery, angioplasty, pacemakers, heart valve replacement and even heart transplants are now commonplace.
There is much still to do, of course. But today we salute Mr Watson’s dream.