They left behind my beautiful heart scar, by Charlotte Shinton

Heart surgery being carried out in hospital

Charlotte wrote this graphic poem about her experience of heart surgery. 

She says: “In July 2015 I had my second open heart surgery. I was open for over 10 hours. I was told it was a long complicated surgery. I'm still recovering and not quite back at work yet but I'm nearly there.


When the surgeon cuts open my chest will he see waves of love I hold for my daughter flowing through my red veins? 

When he cracks through my ribs could they see the memories of my father as I walk down the aisle to my adoring husband? 

Will they touch my blood and feel the warmth of my fear, but strength to survive?

Will they know I'm a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a friend? 

When they hold my blood-filled heart will they hear our favourite bedtime story? Will they hear us laughing, dancing, singing?

Will they hear me crying? 

Will they hear me telling my mother I might not live?

When they mend my broken heart will it ooze with fight? Will it ooze with hope? Will they hear me say thank you? Will it ooze with my ever-lasting gratitude that they saved my life? 

When the surgeon cut open my chest... They left behind my beautiful heart scar. 


The poems published in this section are creative writing by Heart Matters readers. They should not be taken as medical information or advice.

It isn’t always easy to express your emotions, but writing poetry can be a way of putting your feelings down on paper which many people find helpful. If you’d like your poem about any aspect of heart disease or caring for someone to appear in this section, email it to [email protected]

Related publications