I came home yesterday after a couple of nights’ stay in the Royal Free, Hampstead, under observation for what turned out to be three small kidney stones – fortunately too small to require surgery. Even so, they were big enough to cause me several hours of excruciating agony until my GP gave me a pain-killing injection.
I was kept in overnight for further scans and tests, and was fascinated to find myself in the “George Qvist Ward”. This brought back vivid memories of the ‘near miss’ I had over thirty years ago, when my appendix burst just before Christmas and I was only saved by emergency major surgery performed by the very same George Qvist. George Qvist [pronounced “Kwist”], 1910-81, was a senior surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, and my operation in fact took place at the old hospital in Grays Inn Road because the new one in Hampstead was still under construction and Mr Qvist preferred to use his familiar theatre at the old site. So I was one of the last patients there, being in for six weeks because the operation had to be repeated when an abscess formed.
I have always counted Mr Qvist as the bestower of the remainder of my life since then, and it was curious to renew the link with him this week. As he has been dead for over quarter of a century, the young ward staff regarded me as somewhat of an antique when I told them about my personal contact with him.
How the wheel of life spins!
That’s enough about me. Has anyone any news of Zola?