In Memory of John Beech
John was born on the 22nd January 1953. He was diagnosed with Transposition of the Great Vessels with Pulmonary Stenosis, Fallots Tetrology and holes in his heart.
As a child the prognosis for John’s life expectancy was poor and it was doubtful he would ever reach his teenage years. He underwent two bilateral BT shunts, one when he was four years old and the second at 11 years of age. He always astounded the medical teams with his fight and determination to carry on a ‘normal’ life.
We met when he was 18 and married when he was 20. By then he was very unwell but after three years our first child was born followed by a second child three years later. This in itself was something nobody thought he would ever see.
In 1985, Professor Magdi Yacub heard of John and wanted to see if he could use his pioneering surgical skills to correct John’s heart. The operation went well and he corrected the transposed arteries as well as repairing the other defects. This operation gave John a better quality of life. We went on to have our third child in 1987. Two years ago we became grandparents, yet another achievement for John.
John was admitted to hospital on many occasions. Each admission had us fearful for John’s life, but with the skills of the doctors and nursing staff on the GUCH team as well as John’s strength and determination he pulled through. As well as helping John with his complex condition, the GUCH team have supported me, as his wife, whenever I have needed them.
Sadly John lost his fight for life at the age of 62 on the 12th February 2015.
I have asked for this page to be put on the website in memory of a truly brave and courageous husband, father, grandad, son, brother and uncle.
The family of John Beech have set up a fund in honour of John to remember his life and support the work of The Somerville Foundation. Money raised will help provide services for patients who were born with a heart condition (ACHDs). Congenital heart disease can be enormously isolating. By bringing patients together The Somerville Foundation helps to build a community or ‘one large family’ where those affected can share hopes and dreams, support each other through the sad and difficult times and face the challenges of congenital heart disease. John lived his life to the full and we believe that it is a fitting tribute to John that his Memorial Fund will give other heart patients the opportunity to do the same.