From the Urals to the Atlantic, The Arctic Circle to the Med (with Austrailia and New Zealand) - GUCHs working together

Eurohearts 2010...

Firstly, and lastly, a HUGE thank you to JEMAH and the organising committee for the 2010 Euroheart conference for giving us a special week in Berlin. The agenda is here http://www.jemah.de/cms/images/download_presse/programme_final0710.pdf

It's always difficult to write about things that mean a lot to you, or at least I find it difficult, so please bear with me.

I'll start with a question... How often can you look someone in the eye and just know they understand you? That no words are needed, no language barriers exist in that look, and that a gentle squeeze of the shoulder or a huge bear hug are all that needed to say that the love is there.

Now imagine you're in a room with 60 people like that, 60 people who share life experiences, share losses, and have shared tears, that most other people will never share...

And you can start imagining what these conferences mean to me.

There will always be people who you are closer to than others, those special friends who are more like an extra limb than other people. The ones who hold you in the rain and let you sob until the tears dry...

And you can start seeing why I've always said these conferences must continue for the GUCH Community, not the old timers like me but for the ones who aren't GUCHs yet.

Add in the lectures on how GUCHs are fairing psycho-socially, how surgery is organise in the Berlin Heart Centre and me being given the honour of speaking to the group on the boring, but increasingly important, politics side of things an you get a conference which keeps the mind alive!

And you can see what GUCHs can learn from each other at these conferences.

And most importantly, it gives us a chance to deal with past misunderstandings, build on shared passions and come out of the other side as true friends...

The work coming out of out of the conferences always looks like a huge mountain to climb, but I'm used to that (sorry bad joke!) and the others doing it with me are a damn good team of anyone GUCHs or otherwise!

So now, I need to reflect, internalise and relish those moment of last week I will always cherish. As I said at the top thank you to my hard working German friends, when you are rested you will look back with pride and love at what you have done!

TTFN

Paul

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