Ode to the artificial kidney – in memory of Dennis Crane

Dennis Crane

The twenty first of March, nineteen sixty eight

How can I ever forget that date?

When I first entered the AKU,

I expect you remember your first time too


Nurses in trousers, based at a “station”

That looked like a science fiction creation,

Buzzers sounding, lights flashing, red, amber and green

It took quite a while to adjust to the scene


For this wasn’t like the old fashioned ward,

Where “they” talked across you, and you were ignored,

Here staff and patients’ work as a team

Understanding the workings of that thing, “The Machine”


Remember those heaters, always going on the blink?

Asking the nurse to fill a bowl from the sink,

With hot water, to put your blood lines in,

I’m sure we would have been warmer with a bottle of gin


Let’s pause for a moment, to remember those who,

Can’t be with us today to share in this “do”

We’re proud to have known them, we‘ll never forget

That they can’t be with us, we deeply regret


We’ve known good times and bad times over the years,

Shared lots of laughs and quite a few tears,

And, although it’s been hard many times on the way,

I wouldn’t be the person I am today


But for the experiences I have been through

I’m sure many others feel that way too.

Which brings me to the main point of this rhyme?

Thank you for listening and giving your time.


On behalf of the patients’ both, old and new

To all the staff I’ve a message for you,

I know there have been times when we have ranted and raved

But we truly are grateful for the lives you have saved


There are no words to be said, nor deeds we can do,

To fully repay the debt we owe you,

You gave us the strength and the will to go on,

When some of us thought that all hope had gone


Saying “thanks” can’t begin my feelings to impart,

But it is meant sincerely, and comes from the heart,

You calmed our anxieties, soothed away our fears,

God bless you, and here’s to the next twenty years.


Dennis Crane

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