‘Thank you for fixing me up’
Former Monty Python star Sir Michael Palin has paid tribute to Barts Health staff who saved his life at a party to mark 900 years of St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
The broadcasting legend underwent four-hour open-heart surgery at Barts in 2019 after he was diagnosed with a leaky valve.
He told the huge crowds gathered in the hospital’s atrium that St Bartholomew’s "occupies a special place in my heart" and "if [you] didn’t fix me up, I may not be here."
Sir Michael also unveiled a huge new artwork, commissioned especially for the anniversary, featuring 900 stories from across the hospital's history.
Addressing the audience in front of a giant birthday cake, hospital chief executive Charles Knight said: "St Bartholomew’s can now look forward to the future with great confidence. We have a state-of-the-art building and some truly world-leading clinicians, academics and departments.
"Now part of the Barts Health family we are more rooted in our community than ever before."
Group chief executive Shane DeGaris said the Barts900 campaign was "a fantastic opportunity to look ahead and really understand the needs of our local populations."
Our staff hit the headlines
On Friday morning, BBC Breakfast visited St Bartholomew’s to interview staff and patients and hear our unique story from 1123 to present day. The story was also featured on Friday's BBC London News bulletins.
At the same time, Glenn Hoddle was joined by our chief surgeon Steve Edmondson on the Good Morning Britain sofa to discuss his treatment at St Bartholomew’s following his cardiac arrest in 2018.
Meanwhile, on Friday evening The London Evening Standard revealed how a new breast cancer centre, at the centre of Barts Charity’s Barts900 fundraising appeal, could ‘transform the lives’ of some of the capital’s most vulnerable people. The story was syndicated to Yahoo and MSN news.
Our lead archivist Kate Jarman revealed our incredible history on the The Leader podcast from The London Evening Standard, published on Friday evening.
City-based news site LondonWorld reported live from our birthday party, and published a pictoral history of the hospital, whilst Barts Heritage chief executive Will Palin hailed our nonacentennial in an article for The Critic.
On Saturday, to mark St Bartholomew's offical birthday, The Express hailed our 'iconic London hospital' and The Times published interviews with Michael Palin and Charles Knight.
GB News reported on our plans to build a breast centre, including an interview with oncologist Melissa Phillips.
Earlier this week, The Sunday Times spoke to Will about his plans to restore St Bartholomew’s Hospital Grade I listed North Wing including its Great Hall and Hogarth Stair.
And finally, our director of nursing Angela Robinson spoke to the Nursing Times about our 'anniversary anticipation'.
Works are expected to begin this summer.