My family personally know a heart surgeon who is currently being witch hunted. It has caused a lot of distress to the  person concerned and his family, as well as his friends and colleagues. The heart surgeon involved has been sacked from the excellent Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham following an investigation.

ian wilson


The reason why we know the surgeon, Ian Wilson, is because 11 years ago, he performed heart surgery on my father. It transformed his life. My father, who is a very keen walker, was very fit. A routine visit to the GP for a persistent cough revealed a heart murmur. He had none of the symptoms and had happily continued fell walking with a congenital heart problem. Mr Wilson was so surprised that Dad’s physical activity and lack of symptoms had continued with this condition.

Dad was operated by Mr Wilson at a private hospital, and in ITU, post-op, they provided him with a TV to watch the England v South Africa World Cup Rugby Match. He was still coming round from the operation, but I understand he opened his eyes when England scored!

Mr Wilson cared for Dad really well and we as a family all met him. He was courteous and clearly very competent. I left the meeting thinking: these surgeons are miracle makers. My father has continued walking since then, and although he doesn’t walk in the Lake District Fells anymore, he leads walks in the beautiful Warwickshire and Worcestershire countryside and is discovering the beauty of the Hertfordshire hills.

I read one of the reports of a relative of a patient that had died following heart surgery. She said she thought her father was going in for a “Routine” operation: a triple heart surgery operation. Of course the general public (me included) don’t fully understand the intricacies of these operations, but it isn’t THAT long ago that a heart operation was a MIRACLE and that the risks of these operations were very high. Certainly we were aware of the risks as well as the benefits.

Obviously I am not in a position to discuss the disciplinary case, and don’t wish to, but I am saddened that there appears to be a witch hunt against someone that is able to transform people’s lives with his years of study, experience and expertise. Any surgery comes with some risk, but the miracles that these top surgeons perform on a regular basis, that the general public now believes is ‘routine’ are amazing. Surely we should be celebrating their successes, rather than vilifying them. What do you think?

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About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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