Introducing a new friend

Posted: 26th August 2022

Kitty Dimbleby, a writer and journalist based in Bath, has been a cheerleader for RUH for years. Now, she’s RUHX’s latest ambassador, and keen to support our charity for even more years to come.

Hello, I was born in London in 1980, a premature, sick baby with a plethora of problems. From a spinal defect to a condition called Hirschsprung’s Disease, which meant that I needed surgery at just a few hours old. Doctors weren’t sure I’d survive, let alone go on to live a full life. But I did … and I do!

My family moved to Bath when I was nine months old and, other than a stint away at university and living in London, I have lived here ever since. I always knew Bath would be the place I would
raise my own family so my husband and I bought our first home together here in 2008.

When you live somewhere this long, and have the health problems I do, it’s inevitable the hospital nearest to your house will become a home away from home. I’m so grateful it’s the Royal United Hospital Bath!

While most of the care for my childhood issues has been elsewhere when it comes to emergencies the staff at the RUH have been there for me at every stage. From treating a suspected fractured arm when I was a teen, to most recently in May this year, when a flare up of my condition meant I spent the weekend as an inpatient. I’ve lost count of the number of hours and days I’ve spent in the RUH, as a patient or visiting people I love.

Following successful IVF, I had two extremely complicated pregnancies, which meant I was in and out of the hospital. Chloe, now nine, arrived early, both our lives in danger due to preeclampsia. It was one of the most terrifying times of my life but had the happiest of endings thanks to the incredible Maternity Team who worked through the day and night to keep us both safe. Max, now six, had a similarly dramatic entrance to the world and, once again, the care we both received was exemplary.

Every time I’ve been to the RUH I’ve been treated with utter professionalism and kindness, by people willing to go above and beyond the call of duty: From surgeon to nurse, anaesthetist to physiotherapist, counsellor to porter, radiologist to health care assistant. They’ve wiped my tears, cleaned up my mess, held my hand and cared with compassion and great skill. I owe these NHS staff everything I hold dear and the life I love.

My children both took their first breath in the RUH and, earlier this year, my beloved grandmother took her last. The hospital has been there for my whole family and I’m so grateful.

Every one of us, or someone we love, will undoubtedly need their local hospital at some stage in their life, you don’t have to have the problems I do for that to be true. Most of us fear it, associating hospitals with pain and loss, which is understandable. But our hospital is also the heart of our community – and something we should be very proud of. As a community we must do what we can to support it, and them. So, I’m beyond thrilled and honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador for RUHX and can now actively show how grateful I am for everything the RUH has done for me.

If you would like to represent RUHX and become an ambassador, we’d love to hear from you. Get Involved: partnerships@ruhx.org.uk