A sneak peek into tonight’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E “Against All Odds”
The RTS award-winning documentary series returns for a twelfth series following patients treated in the same 24 hour period at St George’s in south west London. The hospital has one of the busiest A&E departments in Britain – under more pressure than ever. It’s a place where stories of life, love and loss unfold every day.
This episode explores the unexpected things that can happen in life that make us value the ones we love.
20-year-old Antonio is rushed to A&E after a motorcycle accident. Dr Shafi explains: ‘When you hear there has been a motorcyclist that has been involved in a collision, you are thinking about multiple injuries to every system of the body.’ The medical team quickly discover Antonio has a severe fracture to his leg and are concerned about a potential arterial bleed. As he is undergoing a CT scan, Antonio’s mother Dawn tells us: “I wanted to be a mum quite young, I thought if I had my children young I could grow up with them and do things together.’ But having children wasn’t without it’s challenges and she explains how Antonio as a child was hyperactive and struggled at school, with teachers unable to cope with his behaviour. As he’s grown up, motorbikes have managed to capture his attention and give him focus: ‘It’s the freedom- the bike has given him independence.’
Antonio’s leg starts to swell and doctors become concerned about long term damage to his leg. As they prepare him for emergency surgery, Dawn tells us about her own childhood, growing up in an adopted family. ‘If you’re adopted, it’s almost as if a part of you is out there, missing… But my children are the ones that give me joy.’ We hear the story of Dawn’s search for her birth family that when she finally found them, gave her ‘closure.’
40-year-old Karen comes to St George’s after falling off her horse, which then trampled on her. Karen’s friend Annie tells us of the moment she discovered her at the horse yard: ‘As I was walking up the driveway, I saw something lying in the middle of the road and realised it was Karen. I knew there was something seriously wrong, because she was curled up and couldn’t move.’ Doctor Rathan tells us: ‘When someone falls off a horse you have to expect the worse case scenario… If they have fallen onto their chest, they could have broken ribs, collapsed lungs and can bleed into their chest cavity.’ As doctors investigate the damage to Karen’s chest and lungs, we learn of her life-long passion for horses and how her late granny provided the inspiration to do what she loves and get her first horse.
29-year-old Hayley comes to St George’s with her wife Emma, after experiencing an infection and low immune system. We hear of how they met after bumping into each other in the queue to see Legally Blonde. Emma tells us ‘I was almost 30, and I’d never even thought about being with a woman.’ Their relationship slowly developed and five years later, we learn that they got married in New York. Four months after their wedding, they had some unexpected news after Hayley went to the doctor feeling unwell. She was sent to A&E and diagnosed with leukaemia: ‘my world absolutely turned upside down.’ As doctors carry out a series of tests, Hayley explains us that the process of chemo has brought her and Emma closer and although life feels on hold for now, they’re hoping the future will be brighter: ‘I think the odds are 70:30. So we’ll hope for the 70.’
Series Producer/Directors: Gemma Brady, Martin Conway, Lucie Duxbury
Executive Producers: Spencer Kelly
Production Company: The Garden Productions