24hrs in A&E is now broadcast every Tuesday 9pm Channel 4 – Read a sneak peek into tonights episode “In Sickness and in Health”
This episode focuses on the bond between married couples in the face of testing circumstances.
27 year old Corey is rushed to St George’s after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game of ice hockey. His teammates administered CPR for 25 minutes on the ice before doctors and paramedics finally managed to get a pulse. His wife of 7 days, Alice, was watching him play when he collapsed, “they rolled him over and I could quite clearly see that he was starting to go blue and I just started screaming that somebody needed to do something.” As Emergency Care nurse Liz helps the team prepare for his arrival, she talks about how dangerous cardiac arrests are in young people “you’ve kind of got in the back of your mind, this may not end well.”
As he arrives in Resus, the medical team learn that Corey’s brain has been deprived of oxygen for over 25 minutes and doctors have put him in an induced coma to prevent further damage to his brain and major organs. As he’s taken to CT, London-born Alice talks about how she first met Canadian Corey whilst studying at the University of Toronto “I felt like I’d known him forever…he was so genuine”. Alice remembers how for their first date, Corey took her ice skating and was surprised when she struggled to stay upright, exclaiming “don’t you skate in England?”
As doctors wait for the results of his CT scan, Alice describes how Corey proposed during a weekend away in Budapest and they decided to get married in Sicily. She talks of how nervous she felt on their wedding day but when she saw Corey “he was just standing there smiling and so that made me feel better.” With Corey still in an induced coma, Alice is brought to his bedside, and she talks about how marriage has changed their relationship “it makes you feel the same, but so much better, it’s just knowing that you’ve always got someone.”
The initial results of Corey’s CT scan reveal no clear sign of a blood clot or abnormality that may have caused his heart to stop and cardiac specialists decide to keep him in an induced coma to monitor his progress over the next few days. As they prepare to take him to the ward, nurse Liz talks about the difficulty in predicting the long term outcome of cases like Corey’s “until the patient has woken up, you’ve got no idea how this has affected them, how badly brain damaged they’ve got, how they are going to function.” As he leaves resus, Alice talks about how the event has affected her outlook “you realise what a good life you’ve had, nothing else seems important.”
55 year old John is airlifted to St George’s after falling 10 feet whilst taking down scaffolding at home. The medical team are concerned that he may have multiple injuries and he’s taken for an immediate CT scan. As doctors assess his scans, his wife Penny talks about how they met as teenagers “it was quite a whirlwind really, we’d got engaged, we’d bought our house and we were married with twins by the time I was 26.” Scans reveal John has a complex ankle fracture and orthopaedic doctors are called to assess the break ahead of emergency surgery. Penny talks about how John has supported her through sickness and bereavement during their long marriage “I said my vows meaning every single word and I think every single one of them over the last 30 years has probably come true.” As John is taken for emergency surgery to save his foot, Penny reflects on her feelings “we all think that we have loved, but it’s not until you meet the right person that you know what love is, it’s a rather lovely feeling to have tucked in your heart.”
4 year old Beatriz is in A&E after getting a gem sticker lodged in her ear. As doctors attempt to remove it, her Mum Sarah talks about how the arrival of children changed her and her husband’s relationship and ultimately brought them closer together.