Last week we launched a special St George’s Day competition asking for people to tell us why St George’s Hospital is special to them.

We were inundated with entries from staff, friends, relatives, past and present patients. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to make a submission.

This morning we took all of the entries we received and placed them into a raffle to select four lucky helipad tour winners…

Winner One: Jo Akhgar
A poem dedicated to St George’s Hospital, London, to mark St George’s Day 2015.

To step through your doors is to be carried and held
Whilst the calmness of normal is robbed and dispelled

You rush to our aid; all conviction, no fear
And soothe all those affected with a compassion sincere

Your army is vast, valiant and strong
They fight hard to make right where life has gone wrong

A relentless dedication that won’t ever yield
You fight for lives with your sword, and protect all with your shield

Our saviour, our truth, our refuge, our hope
Your forces breathe life and have helped us to cope

So many battles we have brought to your door
Each one you have conquered, our lives you restore

Keep making miracles, fight the good fight
Keep supporting your soldiers as they crusade day and night

You are a fortress of care on which we shall always rely
St George’s, in your honour, today your flag we will fly

Winner Two: Susan Ricks
“To be honest I cannot remember the exact year I started working as a nurse on Dalby ward, it was approx 1995.

“What I vividly remember is the excitement and anticipation and of course the nervousness I felt when I walked into the main entrance en route to my interview. Patients, staff, nurses, relatives, doctor, students, greeters and volunteers to name but a few were buzzing like bees through the central concourse. It was an electrifying feeling. Where were all these people going? And how amazing that they were all here to ultimately help the community when they were most in need.

“I loved my Job on Dalby ward. Caring for clients needing extensive plastic surgery, head and neck surgery to running an ENT day surgery and through hard work gained a promotion. My colleagues were also fantastic to work with too.

“After a few years I trained to be a midwife and sadly was not allocated to St George’s. When I qualified I could not wait to get back to St George’s, I just missed that buzzy feeling.

“I love my job as a midwife and had a fantastic opportunity to join a team of midwives who cared for women and their families with the same love and compassion. We looked after all our women and families from booking to birth and supported them through difficult times and the most amazing of lifes journeys.

“In 2004 I was very excited to be on my very own Journey and was expecting our first baby. I remember looking after woman labouring at home and could not wait to see my baby in a few months.

“Well mother nature has a funny way of not always going to plan and things did not go quite as expected and at 24 weeks pregnant I found myself the week before Christmas in the delivery suite. My very busy friends and colleagues on the night shift were feeding me mince pies while I guess I was in some sort of denial. A few hours later our Son was born extremely premature, the NNU was full with sick babies but our son Bertie was squeezed into a space. We were the lucky ones to receive the best care in the world through the highs and lows.

“I cannot really put into words how thankful we are for the care we received at St George’s and the journey we went on for the next 110 days. Bertie is now a happy 10 years old and he has all those amazing people buzzing around to thank for his life.

“I would like to win the tour of helipad in honour of my son as he had the hardest journey of all and is the biggest St George’s fan ever.”

Winner Three: Anna Spyrou
“Our identical twin girls, Ellie and Katie were born at St George’s at 28 weeks and 2 days (12 weeks early). Ellie spent just under 10 months at St George’s, mainly on the Neonatal Unit before she was discharged home due to her complex health conditions.

“In the 10 months we were at the hospital, the two big events that caught our attention was the Helipad opening and the First Touch garden being created. Had we have realised there had previously been a competition to see the helipad we would have applied, though I expect we were too caught up with our poorly daughter who nearly lost her life on a number of occasions – we will always be so thankful to everyone at St George’s for believing in our little girl.

“Whilst both babies were in St George’s we moved from our home into Ronald McDonald House, where we lived until Katie was allowed home. Everyday we would look up to observe the helipad developments and nearer the time to opening we would watch the helicopters practice their landings, our 4 year old daughter also enjoyed this. One morning we saw a helicopter through the kitchen window (at Ronald McDonald house) and then ran (literally) to the front of the house (in the car park) to watch the landing. We also looked at the ‘countdown’ posters changing everyday.

“Since Ellie’s discharge she has been admitted on two occasions to the Paediatric wards. St George’s is not our local hospital but given our experiences this will always be our first choice hospital to attend.”

Winner Four: Jane Lacey
“I have worked at St Georges for 36 years now. I started at St James Hospital in Balham. All my children were born here, my 2 daughters work her, my niece my sister also work here, the people I work with are like family to me as we have known each other so long, and my son is a paramedic.

“I have used St George’s many a time for my family and have always been so grateful for all they have done. I have seen so many changes over the years in the buildings and I have seen senior members of staff when they started as students.

“So you can see why it means so much to me, unfortunately on the down side my husband passed away here, but I can only say what amazing treatment he had and I would have not wanted him, to go anywhere else.”

All of our lucky winners have been contacted and congratulated. We’ll catch up with them all when they come to see us and our helipad at the end of May.