Toughhearts 2014: A fixed point in space and time

That moves every two years…

The Eurohearts conferences exist in the hearts and souls of those who have been there, they occupy that special place between family and lovers and resonate with the hopes and fears of all of us.

Toughhearts 2014 in Baar, Switzerland was the latest of these fixed points, a week long opportunity to be amongst people who share something that normally makes us different, our heart conditions and the rest of the issues that these things bring.  We go from being unusual to being common, and that is a good thing every once in a while.

Toughheart 2014 was as innovative a conference as I can remember – a constantly updated website, a conference cocktail (one of many alcohol free ones designed especially for the hearty bar), a conference song and opportunities to discuss the tough things in our lives with some of those who have to tell us the tough things – the cardiologists themselves.

We got to tour Edwards’ Life Science’s heart valve plant, seeing the intricate care that is taken to hand sew the components together, hand sewn as no machine can sew the intricate 3-D shape as well. We visited Hell – or at least the caves leading to hell…

We did the politics we needed to, and chose the next venue for the conference… and the conference after that, and after that and after that…

The conferences are places where every emotion I heightened, the positives are euphoric and any downs are crashing – my advice to any who attend is that they spend some time readjusting after the conference, because from the Technicolor world the real world can seem very drab and black and white.

Every conference is tinged with the tragedies that are part of our lives, the friends who have died and those who aren’t as fit and strong as they once were. The conferences don’t shy away from these toughest of issues, but recognise them in our own way… The Greatest Football match in the world, which has now had its first proper injury, is where we remember and celebrate – and it was one of my greatest honours to lead the silent remembrance and the clapped celebration – and we play, for no greater reason than because we can.

The gala dinner is where we get to don our finery, talk in quiet corners, dance and thank the organisers – gifts from Europe and beyond were showered on the sexy, successful Swiss but most especially our gratitude and love. We wouldn’t have been there without them.

So it is back to the grey world of being normal, remembering that even with a toughheart it is possible to love and be loved.  And there is no greater point in space and time than that…




  1. Couldn't have put it better myself. I'm going to share on my page if that's ok. It puts things into perspective.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

It's Grim up North (West) - please share...

Life (un)limiting conditions

The price of free(dom) events