Getting ready to move to adult services by Jack, 16


"My name's Jack and I'm 13. I've been coming to GOSH for about a year. When I was eleven days old, I had open-heart surgery and they had to fly me to Cape Town in South Africa. I was sick quite a lot when I was younger, but I've been quite well since I was about eight years old.

"We came over to the UK last January, and our doctor referred me to a cardiologist who then referred me to GOSH. The first time I walked in the door I was like, "Where do we go?" because it's so big. But you don't have to just sit there and do nothing, there are things like Xbox and PlayStation so you won't get bored.

"The first time I met my doctor, it was weird because I'm not really used to the accents. And when they talked, they spoke to me. In South Africa, they'd mostly speak to my parents. I'm getting used to them speaking to me more – it makes me feel better, and when I go to an adult hospital, I'll be ready. I won't have my parents with me and I won't be shy."

Asking questions

"When someone first mentioned moving to an adult hospital to me, I started to feel worried. But I think it's going to be alright. My mum asked questions, and I asked questions, like whether the doctors would be the same and whether you can still have fun like you can at GOSH. I was thinking the people at an adult hospital would be old and grumpy, but there’ll also be other young people there so you can get to know them. It sounds like the people will be really friendly.

"The doctor said I’ll have to move when I’m around 16 or 17 – it’s still a few years away so I’ll have time to get ready and be prepared for what happens. I'm excited but I also think I'm going to miss some people."

Learning to adapt

"I like to play rugby and before matches I’ll take my asthma pump so I don’t run out of energy. But one game I was sick and ended up going to the hospital and missing school for two weeks.

"I learnt that when I’m sick I need to stay at home and relax. I don’t want to get sick again and go to the hospital; I don’t like going to hospital."

Taking responsibility

"I’ve spoken to my clinical nurse specialist about moving to an adult hospital and have started to feel more comfortable about the change. She’s spoken to me about my heart condition, and given me pamphlets, so I won’t need to ask lots of questions – I’ll already know, and I’ll be more prepared.

"In South Africa, my parents used to go to the doctor and get medicine for me. Now I can go by myself. And my parents don’t really help me getting to GOSH because I know the trains better than they do!

"If you’re my age and scared about moving, you shouldn’t be. You just need to get more mature and ask questions by yourself. Get ready for it so when you walk into hospital you’ll be prepared for what’s going to happen."