Industry: water, steel & energy

Holliday, Fred (14 of 14) National Life Story Collection: An Oral History of the Water Industry

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  • Recording date

    2009-08-13, 2009-08-20, 2009-11-16, 2010-02-09, 2011-02-02

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home

  • Interviewees

    Holliday, Fred, 1935-2016 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Gilmour, Alison (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 14: [Session five: 2 February 2011] Introduction to session: story about 12 months preceding interview. Description of medical symptoms and taking a blood test at home. Doctor's diagnosis of mild lymphoma and advice to see doctor at Albyn Hospital, Aberdeen. Comments on costs of private medical treatment and jumping the queue. Comments on diagnosis and treatment plan for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Comments on PH's response. Remarks on surgeon's advice to clear FH's diary for a year. Mentions knowing surgeon's father while at medical faculty, University of Aberdeen. Comments on preparing for operation at Forester Hill: complications caused by diabetes, inflexibility of National Health Service routines. Story about the ward 'escape committee'. Comments on surgery and recovery; story about nurse treating a fellow patient. Comments on bureaucracy in the hospital; pressure on staff. Mentions having many scans, comments on technical support. [17:12] Comments on readmission to Forester Hill: being assigned a Macmillan nurse, joining ANCHOR Unit (Aberdeen and North Centre for Haematology, Oncology and Radiotherapy). Comments on ANCHOR Unit and charity. Comments on standards of care and being in the cancer ward. Story about keeping the 'Oxford Book of English Verse' in the ward. Comments on draining fluid in lungs; story about trying to change clothes. Description of a low point: suffering partial lung collapse. Description of receiving chemotherapy treatment. Comments on hospital routine and mealtimes; receiving visitors. Story about visit from grandchildren. Story about visit from Director of Medical School. Comments on receiving particular attention in hospital. [30:00] Comments on leaving hospital and feeling supported. Description of receiving chemotherapy from home: losing hair, staying at home. Mentions impact of steroids on diabetes. Comments on having low haemoglobin levels, conversation with doctor about mowing the lawn. Story about Stonehaven hospital response to blood test; description of receiving blood transfusion. Comments on chemotherapy: being in good health at start of treatment, side effects of treatment, support from nurses. [42:55] Comments on developing double vision due to diabetes. Comments on living 'under house arrest' and attending board meetings for venture capital trust over the internet. Mentions British Telecom service. Comments on list of places to avoid and foods to avoid due to lack of immune system. Mentions support from friends and family; decision to fight. Comments on keeping hens; reading [Edward] Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire', A J P Taylor's 'The Origins of the Second World War', and an appraisal of Napoleon's battles. [48:20] Description of keynote address given for the Gordon Cook Conversations at Tarland [at Douneside House, MacRobert Trust]. Description of subject covered: 'why we think the way that we think', example of decision making process taken regarding addition of fluoride to drinking water in North East England. Comments on how it felt to occasionally contribute to debates at this time. Comments on hospital discharge and email communication with GPs [general practitioners]. Remarks on treatment in the community following discharge as an informed patient. [57:10] Comments on pensions and investing in annuities for PH; funeral arrangements. Description of reflecting on life and transition to death. Description of reaching a conclusion: most worthwhile thing one can do is to be a teacher. Discussion about putting life in context and wish to make another recording for this interview. Comments on contributions made as a business man and an academic. Reflects on having an obligation to the next generation. Comments on failures. Mentions wish to have conveyed further sense of existence and limits of humanity to students; comments on religion. [1:11:30] Comments on affection from friends; realisation that FH has helped people; support from family. Comments on religion; considers existence of a 'creative force', 'Einstein's God'. Comments on Christianity. Comments on matter, energy, quantum cosmology. Remarks that quantum cosmology and theology are becoming closer, although separated by imagery. Mentions there is a role for organised religion: mentions Tearfund, schools established by organised religion. [1:20:24] Description of two types of reaction to illness; being treated as a ‘dead man walking’. Comments on being in remission. Comments on treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma; diminished immune system. Remarks on roles of health organisations: mentions Cancer Research UK, ANCHOR Unit, Macmillan nurses. Further description of Macmillan nurses. Description of email correspondence with GP and using the ‘Twitter rule’ to keep messages brief. Mentions emailing PH’s consultant. [1:30:48] Comments on National Health Service: pressures on service, mentions stem cell therapy, mentions euthanasia. Comments on healthcare treatment for patients in old age. Comments on private healthcare treatment and NHS treatment. Comments on private healthcare insurance, makes comparison to visiting a garage. Makes reference to jumping the queue on advice of doctor. Comments on need for NHS to take priority. Remarks on being in a shared ward. Mentions personal political stance. [1:41:34] Comments on change in attitude of doctors and nurses upon realising FH had some medical training. Comments on need for children to have sufficient knowledge of biology, physiology, anatomy. Comments on misleading medical information available on the internet. Further comments on the NHS; mentions marketing drugs at different prices. Comments on feeling fortunate for living to this age.

  • Description

    Life Story Interview with Fred Holliday, former chairman of Northumbrian Water Group

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