Episode 4

Catch up on episode 4 on All4 here.

The final episode of Emergency follows an 18-year-old motorcyclist as surgeons try to rebuild his leg and concludes the journeys of the patients filmed across the series and reveal their extraordinary recoveries.

18-year-old Leyton is brought by air ambulance to William Harvey Hospital in Kent – a trauma unit in the far south of the network – after he crashed his moped. He has multiple injuries including an open leg fracture. Trauma Director Tasha unwraps the bandages to reveal his bone sticking out of his leg, “that is proper broken” and CT scans reveal, “a multiple- fragments fracture…that will need 3 or 4 operations.” Tasha explains, “He’s at the border of what we would keep” and calls the orthopaedic team at King’s Major Trauma Centre who agree to admit him for emergency surgery.

Frazer is currently at King’s undergoing surgery to support his unstable spine to give him the best chances of rehabilitation. His mum and dad are waiting at the hospital and mum says, “I’ve been trying to be strong around Frazer not crying…we don’t definitely know if he’s going to be paralysed until the results of the operation.” It’s a tense wait for Frazer’s parents and whilst the operation to stablise the bones is a success, Consultant Neurosurgeon Irfan confirms that the damage to the spinal cord is “very bad….and we can’t bring that back….it’s very sad to break this news”.

Over at St George’s, 51-year-old Philip who has suffered paralysis from the waist down after his car collided with a bus is now under the care of the neuro team. Today his wife Kirsty has come to visit. She feels “lucky to have him alive” and vows “they will get through this.” Neurosurgical Registrar, Adrian tells Kirsty that he will now be referred to a specialist unit for rehabilitation.

In East London, London’s Air Ambulance are rushing a 60-year-old man who crashed his moped into a wall to The Royal London. Emergency Medicine Registrar Katie is leading the trauma team, “stepping up to take the lead in a trauma can be quite daunting…you need to focus.” She is concerned about Peter’s head injury and CT scans reveal a bleed on the brain that is potentially life threatening, “we need to be aggressive in treating the bleed…time is brain.”

Overnight Leyton has made the sixty mile journey from William Harvey in Kent to King’s in South East London. Consultant Surgeon Toby reviews his scans “it’s a nasty injury and will take some fixing”. He explains to Leyton that he will need multiple operations and it’s a 6 to 12 month project. Leyton is visibly shocked, “I did not expect that.” As Toby beings the first operation to rebuild Leyton’s leg, he explains “it’s never me who heals the patient, it’s the team and the patient themselves…it always takes longer than you want it to.”

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore is one the hospitals in the London Major Trauma System specializing in rehabilitation. This is where Philip will begin the long road of rehabilitation. Consultant Alex discusses the lack of improvement in Philip’s mobility and how they will teach him to look after himself without carers. Philip says he’s determined to walk him again leading Alex to tell him “We love to be proved wrong”.

After his treatment at King’s, Frazer is now at Kent and Canterbury Hospital under the care of the specialist rehabilitation team. Now Frazer can shower and dress himself, he’s enjoying his independence. As doctors assess the sensation in his feet, there are small signs of improvement giving Frazer and his dad encouragement, “I want him to keep going…and get himself independent as that’s what he wants”.

Finally, we catch up with the patients filmed across the series and reveal their near miraculous recoveries made possible by the teams across the London Major Trauma System. As we see Danilo at home after his life saving surgeries, he pays tribute to “the heroes” who saved him.