ARTHUR Grace has been back to Sheffield Children’s hospital to say thanks for his pioneering kidney surgery - carried out almost eighty years ago.
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THE year is 1934.
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is captivating readers, a young Stanley Matthews is preparing to make his international football debut, the Loch Ness monster is spotted for the first time – and in Sheffield a little boy called Arthur Grice is preparing to undergo life-saving surgery.
The 10-year-old went under the knife to have his kidney removed by pioneering surgeons at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on February 8, a procedure which saved his life.
Flash forward almost eight decades and Arthur, born in Heeley, is still reaping the benefits of the operation.
And, after writing a rather belated thank you note, the retired plasterer received a special invitation to visit the hospital 78 years to the day his mum held his hand before he was led into the operating theatre.
Arthur said: “I’ve never forgotten my time in the Children’s Hospital. I remember being told I was the first child to have my kidney removed there and the anaesthetist telling me I was a brave boy.”
After all this time Arthur still has vivid memories of the day he was admitted, following a battle with scarlet fever. His mother had to carry him to the tram stop after he was discharged because he was so poorly.
He said: “I decided to write to the hospital to say thank you for what they did for me all those years ago, something I have been meaning to do for years.
“I was thrilled when I was invited to visit – it made my day. I never thought I would get the opportunity to come back, especially after all this time.
“I’ll never forget the surgeon, Mr Little, as I’m sure he was about 6ft 3ins!”
Arthur and his friend Olive were given a guided tour of the hospital by director of nursing John Reid and surgeon Prasad Godbole who talked to them about kidney removal in 2013.
Their department treats around 500 patients every year and specialises in keyhole surgery for removing all or part of the organ, along with minimally invasive procedures for kidney stones in children and a large variety of complex reconstructive urology procedures.
Mr Godbole, consultant urologist at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is wonderful to hear such an amazing story as Arthur’s.
“We love hearing from patients past and present and it is really special for Arthur to return after all these years. I’m sure things have changed quite a bit.
“Back in the 1930s having a kidney removed was very pioneering and something which very few people would have experienced.
“It is interesting to hear about the procedure and also fascinating to see how medicine and surgery has progressed.”