Eighty-year-old Frances is rushed to St George’s by air ambulance after she fell from a height of three metres into her empty swimming pool while gardening. Consultant Rathan is concerned that a significant wound to her head caused by the depth of her fall may conceal a bleed on her brain that could have life changing consequences.

Frances had managed to call her son Clive and he called 999. He rushed to the scene, “I’ve never seen mum that broken before. There are twenty year olds who wouldn’t have survived that fall.” Clive talks about how his eighty year old mother is fiercely independent, continuing to mow the large lawn on her tractor and even re-felting the garden shed roof.   He reminisces about happier times in childhood summers spent around the family swimming pool, his mum “swimming for hours, up and down, up and down, with incredible stamina.”  As the medical team work quickly to identify France’s injuries, her independence appears in danger: “we wanted them to fix the hole on her head and get her back on her feet, give her some Savlon and send her home. It didn’t quite turn out like that.”

Eighty six year old Ruth IS about to go on a cruise but brought to A&E with her heart beating at three times the normal rate. She arrives complaining of shortness of breath and tightness in her chest that feels “as if someone is pressing on it.” Consultant Rathan is concerned that her heart is only pumping out small amounts of blood: “a person isn’t going to last very long with a heart rate like that.” Doctors work quickly to address Ruth’s heart condition with fast-acting medication.

Ruth talks about how she was born in Germany but grew up in Poland during the Second World War. Soon after the war ended Ruth and her mother we’re taken from their home in the middle of the night to prison and then to a labour camp. Some of the people she was imprisoned with didn’t survive. One of her tasks was to feed the other inmates and she talks about how the women who ran the kitchen would feed the children first before supplies ran low. Even in a place like that, “you always find kind people if you look for it.”

Meanwhile twenty-year-old students Jerry and Sakille arrive in A&E after Jerry crashed the car on their way home from a party.  Deciding to stay sober so she could drive her friends home, Jerry thinks she briefly fell asleep at the wheel. It’s a rite of passage for her as she concludes that having a full time job and partying until 5am on week nights might not be sensible anymore. Social media addicts, both Jerry and Sakille document their social life and their time in A&E on snapchat: “it’s basically like reality TV… but unedited!”