One of the characters in both my novels ‘Stolen Years’ and ‘The Journey’ is Miro. He is a small child in the first novel and a young adult in the third volume of ‘The Journey’. Miro is based on a real person, who later became my husband – Michael Myers.
In the early 1980’s we met a group of young Polish cardio-surgeons, on short-term contracts at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. They often sought Michael’s support and advice in legal matters and we became life-long friends. One of them was Dr. Andrew Sosnowski.
This was just after the fall of ‘Solidarity’ in Poland, when repressions were rife under the Communist Government. Dr. Sosnowski had been exiled for his active role in the ‘Solidarity’ movement. He and his wife Nina and their children settled in Leicester for the time being, spending the next thirty years as our neighbours, before returning home to their country for good.
Michael also included a story for the initiative organised by Project Polska to collect 100 stories in 100 words of 100 Polish residents in Leicester, as part of the Polish Independence Centennial Celebration this year.
In the writing of his ‘100 Words Story’ Michael’s intention was to remember his friend Andrew Sosnowski’s work, not only on this one occasion, but throughout all the years when he had saved hundreds of lives, including the life of Anna (the main character in Stolen Years).
Here is Michael’s 100 words story:
I was very fortunate to meet many Polish cardio-surgeons who came to work in Leicester. Dr. Sosnowski and his wife Nina were my neighbours for nearly thirty years. On one occasion my rotovator (a birthday present) attacked my leg badly exposing the bone. My frantic wife was told by A&E there was a 9-hour waiting time. In desperation she rang Dr Sosnowski. By incredible luck he was in break between operations. His colleague Dr. Szostek fetched me in twenty minutes and they sewed my leg up. My legs carry me to this day.
Miałem wielkie szczęście poznać wielu Polaków kardiochirurgów, pracujących w Leicester. Dr. Sosnowski i jego żona Nina byli moimi sąsiadami przez prawie trzydzieści lat. Zdarzyło się raz, że kultywator (urodzinowy present) rozciął mi nogę do kości. Mojej przerażonej żonie powiedziano na Oddziale Ratunkowym, że czas czekania to dziewięc godzin. W desperacji zadzwoniła do Dr. Sosnowskiego. Cudownym trafem miał akurat przerwę między operacjami. Jego i nasz pryjaciel, Dr. Szostek zabrał mnie w dwadzieścia minut i razem zoperowali moją nogę. Do dzisiaj noszą mnie obydwie nogi.