Our hospital was founded thanks to the vision and benevolence of one man Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.
In 1865, Ferdinand married his childhood sweetheart Evelina.
They were delighted when Evelina got pregnant, but then that all turned to tragedy, as both Evelina and the child died during childbirth, which obviously was an incredibly traumatic time for the family and for Baron Ferdinand personally.
Following his loss, a heartbroken Ferdinand created a lifeline for some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in London. He founded our hospital in 1869, and it was named for his beloved Evelina.
Our original building was in Southwark.
Our hospital was modern, it was light, and it was spacious.
It had London's first whooping-cough ward, an outpatients wing, a cheerful playroom with toys, and some of the best doctors, nurses and surgeons.
It was designed for children and, most importantly, it didn't feel like a hospital.
Since then, the hospital has grown and it's modernised.
Our new home on the site of St. Thomas' Hospital mirrors the original vision, above all we've continued to offer the best care for our children and young people every step of the way.
So I had spinal surgery at Evelina to treat a condition called scoliosis.
They've improved my quality of life by treating my condition and they've also helped me to grow as a person and boost my confidence.
It has its patients at the heart of everything it does.
It doesn't feel like a hospital and all the staff are so supportive and it just feels like a big family.
If I was to sum up my experience of being a patient at Evelina London, I'd say that they have inspired me to give back and help others.
Evelina London today's is somewhat unique amongst children's hospitals in that there are very specialist services to deal with any problem, even before a child is born, it's quite unusual to have a specialist children's hospital on the same site as a specialist maternity centre.
The fact that all of that care can be delivered for both the mother and the baby on a single site in the Evelina London is is somewhat unusual, even in 2019.
Around about ninety-five thousand children a year are seen at the Evelina London.
She was five days old so we didn't leave hospital from having her.
They absolutely saved her life.
They were like our family for seven weeks.
Because of the positive feeling in there, from the doctors and nurses, you feel you can support each other.
It's an amazing place.
We put Evelina on3:03the birth certificate and it was a little tribute to the hospital, for not only saving Evie's life, but supporting us through a long journey.
Evelina London has always been at the forefront of fetal cardiology research.
We've always been very keen on performing translational research and this has included some of the first laser techniques for babies after birth and the use of 3D MRI scans later in pregnancy to refine the diagnosis is a world first and not replicated anywhere else worldwide.
Sam's a pretty confident happy boy.
He has achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism.
We're no strangers to going to lots of hospitals but going through the doors at Evelina is very different because it's completely geared towards children, and they're so friendly that you feel like you're walking into a really fun playground, as opposed to a hospital.
They really kind, it feels like I'm just seeing my friends.
150 years later the Evelina London is as amazing now as it was then in that time.
We've gone from the community into the hospital and then back out into the community again.
A lot of the patient involvement is outside within the community and so it means that children and families don't have to come to the hospital but they're still part of the Evelina London.
So many lives have been touched by a hospital and community services.
We have ambitious plans for the future, as we grow, we will continue this legacy of love and honor Evelina's memory, by being here for every child the next 150 years and hopefully beyond.
We're very grateful to the Rothschild family and their continued support that really has enabled us to develop thing's enormously, so that outcomes for both mothers and their babies are so much better than they were 150 years ago.
I think the Rothschild family deserve a huge vote of thanks for their ongoing support of the Evelina London, to allow it to grow and expand, and to treat more patients. We are so grateful to the Evelina for everything they give to Sam and to our whole family, because they are amazing.
Thank you Evelina London.
Thank you so much.
So much, thank you.
Our hundred and fiftieth birthday is a great time to celebrate the difference we've been able to make thanks to Baron Ferdinand's original vision and the continued support of your family.
On behalf of our children and families, staff, community and myself, thank you.