Pyloric Stenosis


“Lazarus”  David Bowie

I am not exactly certain how this poem connects with David Bowie, I think it was the david bowievideo and the hospital bed but I listened and watched and below is the poem that came out.

It also reflects how angry this election is making me. People I know, good people, kind people who would not normally vote for the conservatives will be voting for the Tories in this election. Their reasons are many and varied but I think we need to remind ourselves of our priorities and our achievements as a country.

I started this blog as a celebration of my forthcoming 70th birthday but I also share my birthday with something else, the National Health Service. In the last ten years, I have had used it services extensively as I have struggled with heart problems and I have always been impressed by the level of service and quality of care I have received.

I was also one of the first to use it seventy years ago. I was born with a condition called Pyloric Stenosis, a blockage between the stomach and the bowel which meant I could not keep food down and therefore suffered what they call today “a failure to thrive”. Thanks to the NHS, an operation saved my life. I still have the scar today to remind me of the fortunate timing of my birth.

To listen to a recording of the poem click here.


Pyloric Stenosis


I was the 259,897th baby born in 1948 in the newly created NHS

Deep within me was a blockage between my stomach and small bowel

Life nourishing baby milk could not pass through my body

Instead it festered and curdled in my infantile stomach

I could projectile vomit like Carrie in the Stephen King novel

Six weeks into this world and a surgeon’s knife saved my life

The scar down my stomach is a reminder of his skill

Fifty years before I would have withered like a wind snapped vine

A lost first born of a struggling poor family

But I thrived because of a political decision born out of war

Soon the forty fifth millionth NHS baby will be born

Whilst around its cot the Tory butchers will be looting the wards

Stripping the corridors and plundering the theatres


©Jeff Price April 2017


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