When we were kids, our brains were like sponges, soaking up anything and everything of life, especially things that appealed to us. Our first teddy Bear, toy, or train set, mine… was a tin Drum. We remember certain awards given to us collectively or verbally for our achievements. Something in the sports fields, or taking apart a watch, or machine and finding out how it works and putting it back together again. My life was music from day one; listening to my mother Joan singing in the kitchen of our home. Joan had a lovely voice, my father Stan also had a good voice. The house was always full of music, mostly my mother singing on her own. Neither of my parents were professional – my mother a proud housewife and my father a Manager of one Company or another. But at parties, Stan would be mimicking America’s Bing Crosby, Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra’s voices well, in the next breath.. a very convincing comical George Formby. Joan had a raspy voice and also sang well known songs, but only at parties and a few quiet country pubs later in life. They were well loved. But I loved music in every sense of the word. I was considered a natural in rhythm, timing and balance. Then there were the days of the swinging 60’s, whereby Big Dance Bands, Jazz Bands, Dixie, and early Rock + Roll and Flower power were hitting the scenes and everything was truly buzzing. You would always find me analysing musical parts, why they put a musical piece in one position from a music score or a song, but left a space in another. I liked finding out why or how it worked. I had quite a few nice friends, but something happened to me, when I was just 7 years old: I suddenly stopped growing. My parents were anxious and I was taken to the Doctor. These were early days, even in the medical world. And the Doc’ had no idea what was happening either. He assumed I lacked vitamins, so thought it a good idea to boost courses of Vitamin injections twice a week, which meant a Doctor had to come to school in the break time to apply the jabs. This meant I had to wait in a corridor for the Doc’ while my friends were outside playing football. Quite often, I missed the whole break, because the Doc’ was late. As time went on, the Doc’ and my parents realized that the jabs weren’t working at all. Of course all my friends were now getting much taller than me and soon the mickey-taking started. ‘Here comes Tom Thumb’, all in fun at first, but it started to hurt at a later stage. It was quite some time later that my father read something in a National Newspaper. An American major medical breakthrough regarding people like me, who had stopped growing. At least we knew they were on it. Apparently there would be enough treatment being sent over to the UK, from the States, to trial 7 children who needed the trial the most. My Father told my Mother and she jumped at the chance and wrote a letter the following morning. The news hit the papers all over England. Doctors were studying the treatment information. And a medical Professor was chosen to seek out the lucky 7. After a few weeks or so, My mother Joan received a letter telling her to bring me to London to be assessed by this gentleman, Professor Tanner. It was a long grueling day, but worth it. We had to wait for several weeks on tenterhooks. It felt so long a wait, that I wasn’t sure I’d have a chance because hundreds of applications went in. Then one day a second letter came, this time from the Great Ormond Children’s Hospital in Russell Square…

Story continued in next blog post…