Thirty years of GOSH: Kerry's story

Today, we’ve been asking everyone to show off their #80sme on social media as part of the Then. Now. Always campaign, celebrating 30 years since the Wishing Well Appeal. We’ve had lots of messages over the last week from people who were patients, staff, volunteers and fundraisers for the hospital and charity in the 1980s, like Kerry.

In the 80s, Kerry was a GOSH patient and as such, featured a few times in her local paper. Thirty years on, we spoke to Kerry and her mum, Linda, about their experience at GOSH in the 80s and what it’s like to work in the hospital today.

Old newspaper cutting featuring Kerry

“I was born at 26 weeks, weighing just 1lb 6oz” says Kerry. “I was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which means there was damage to my intestines and I had a perforated bowel.”

Linda said: “GOSH was and still is amazing. I’d heard so much about it beforehand, but it exceeded my expectations. The atmosphere was peaceful and gave me so much hope.”

“I had three operations to remove the infected parts of my bowel which was very risky,’ added Kerry.

Every moment was precious

Linda said: “I stayed overnight a couple of times when Kerry was having operations, I needed any extra time with her as we didn’t know she would survive. Every moment was precious. Other times I just travelled for the day, I never missed a visit."

Kerry in a top hat to show how small she was

A proud return to GOSH

Kerry is now a Healthcare Assistant on Kangaroo Ward in the hospital's brand new building. She looks after children and young people who need long-term respiratory support. 

“I returned to GOSH in 2006 as a nursing student and began working at the hospital in 2017,” said Kerry.

“When you walk through the main doors you feel so proud to be in the hospital. When I came back to GOSH I met with my surgeon. We had a cup of tea and a chat and it was very surreal to be able to thank him for saving my life. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today” she added.

Achieving dreams

Kerry in the paper again

"Being bullied at school for my scars only made me stronger and more determined to achieve my dreams. I am proud of what I went through to be here today and if I can find anyway, big or small, to help others with what I’ve been through, I wouldn’t hesitate.”

Today, Kerry is on the front page of her local paper again.

Were you a GOSH patient or member of staff in the 1980s? Share your story with us using #ThenNowAlways or find out how you can get involved.

Get involved