A sneak peek in to tonight’s 17 Jan 24hrs in A& E episode “Made of Steel”
This episode focuses on the family bonds that carry people through tough times.
64 year old Mohammed is rushed to St George’s after being hit by a pizza delivery motorbike. Consultant Will is concerned he may have a pelvic fracture, which could seriously affect his mobility and if the fracture hits a major artery, can be life threatening. His son Tom went to see his father at the scene of the accident and followed his father to St Georges to be by his side. Tom reflects ‘when you are younger you think your Dad is superhuman. When this happens, you realise he isn’t invincible…’
As Mohammed is sent for an emergency CT scan, Tom talks about his Dad being from Somaliland, a breakaway state of Somalia and how he is from one of the first Somali families to come over to the UK. Mohammed achieved success, and sent Tom to private school, where he always came to support Tom at rugby matches: ‘he was always coming to the games… he was the only black guy on the side of the pitch.’ Tom recounts the story of how when he visited Somaliland, he realised his dad’s humble beginnings: ‘I am in complete awe of him- someone who has been successful, starting from scratch.’
As doctors wait for the full results of his scans, Mohammed tells the story of his father, who was a stoker in the merchant navy, bringing him and his mum to the UK in the 50s. Mohammed was ‘chiselled in the East End’ as a young lad and how his parents ‘even though they couldn’t read or write, had a fierce sense of ambition for me. My father used to take days off to go and interrogate my headmistress.’
90 year old John comes to St Georges with his wife Iris and daughter Joan after his GP picked up on his abnormally low heart rate. As doctors conduct a series of tests to establish the cause of his abnormal heart rate, John tells us that he has been married to his wife for 65 years, after meeting her in the telephone office where they worked together. He took her on their first date 70 years ago.’ Now, she has dementia, and John is coping with seeing the woman he loves have her good days and her bad days: ‘it’s sad. But I mustn’t be greedy, we’ve had a good life together… If I had my life over again, I’d want her as my partner.’
Eight year old Clementina comes to St Georges with her dad Jim, after falling off her scooter and hurting her knee. She enjoys asking her questions of her dad, and says ‘it’s important I ask questions to get better at stuff. Otherwise I’ll never learn anything.’ She is very keen to be a midwife when she grows up and likes all things medical: Dad Jim tells us Clementina wants a diabetes testing kit for Christmas. We hear how her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and is going through chemotherapy. Her parents decided it was best to be honest with Clementina, who is understanding that process through asking lots of questions.
Doctor Will reflects on the family bonds he sees in A&E every day ‘I think with any illness, your support network is vital. It is almost as important as the medicine we supply… the support that comes from the patient’s loved ones.’