Friday, 11 July 2008

Fred Dubber's comments on Barry Blackburn' experiences

I was intrigued to read your letter about your hospital stay and subsequent history largely because my own experiences mirror yours quite closely. I left MHMH in 1953 and returned to my home in Leeds where I too learned I was to go to Potternewton Special School. I spent a full school year there before going to a normal primary school. I wore a calliper for most of my stay at Potternewton but remember being taught to swim at a local swimming baths so presumably I was allowed to take it off in the pool. On return to primary school I was not allowed to play games and had to sit and watch football and cricket matches instead. Like Jane, possibly because I was barred from other games, I learned to love swimming.

I too served an engineering apprenticeship but turned down an opportunity to become a draftsman, although later in life I managed an engineering design office and workshop. I also had some successful project management experiences after I moved to Malvern. I avoided National Service because it ended just before I became eligible.

I also have similar health history, suffering a heart attack in 2000, this was followed by cardiac bypass surgery 18 months later. Luckily the heart damage was minimal and I can now lead a fairly normal active life. Coincidentally and possibly curiously I too have no fears when faced with hospitals and subsequent major surgery but then my wife worries enough for both of us!