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Quirke wedding with a difference...

Southampton Hospital Charity want to say a massive congratulations and thank you to Sam and Amelia Quirke who got married on 25 July.

As a thank you for Amelia’s open heart surgery, and subsequent after care, the couple asked their wedding guests to donate money to the charity in lieu of wedding gifts. They raised £900 which will be split between the cardiac intensive care unit and the E3 ward at Southampton General Hospital.

It looks like you had a superb day, and we wish you all the luck for the future.

If anyone else is looking for a special way to show their thanks, or is looking for their wedding to leave a lasting memory and difference, then please consider supporting Southampton Hospital Charity. We can offer a range of help and branded materials to help on the day.


Amelia’s story

In May 2014 I was diagnosed with congenital heart disease.  I've always known that I had a heart murmur, and was told it was nothing to worry about, but over the years the unusual blood flow caused a membrane to grow around the opening to my aortic valve. This membrane grew bigger and bigger until it started causing me problems.

I thought I was just unfit. I felt breathless and tired all the time, and would often get dizzy or have chest pains. I had all kinds of tests and examinations until doctors at Southampton General Hospital decided that surgery was our only option.

On Friday 21 November 2014 at 2pm I pulled on my sexiest surgical stockings and let Dr Michael Lavrsen stick his hands inside my chest. The surgical team took out the membrane and widened my aorta, and I have the scar to prove it!  

It's stressful enough to plan a wedding when you're healthy - it's another thing to do it when you're recovering from open heart surgery. To celebrate life, love and my survival, it would mean so much to me if you donated to the Cardiac ICU and E3 wards in lieu of gifts. I spent 5 days with some truly amazing healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors, and your donation would help to repay them for all of their hard work and compassion.

Thank you!


Sam’s story

The staff of the Cardiac ICU and E3 wards not only brought my soon-to-be wife back to health, they also made sure I didn't keel over worrying about her! They talked us through every procedure, pill and therapy with clarity and confidence which really did comfort me during the wait. I am so grateful for everything they have done for us. Southampton General Hospital have already got us happy and healthy enough to have a wedding at all - I really don't need any other gifts! All I could ask for is that you help us give a little something back to support such a wonderful and vital service.

"Congenital heart disease is one of the most common types of birth defect, affecting up to 9 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK."


Photo’s reproduced with kind permission of IanH photography:

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