Love thy neighbour
It’s not just family and friends who can help you when accidents happen. Sometimes, neighbours do a pretty good job too.
48-year-old train driver Andy is rushed to A&E after falling twelve feet from a tree while cutting branches. He was initially treated at a local hospital, but his injuries are so severe that he’s been transferred to St George’s for specialist emergency treatment.
Andy landed on his feet and has badly fractured both ankles. He doesn’t have any sensation in his feet and doctors are concerned that the damage may have caused life-changing damage to critical nerves and blood vessels in his feet and legs. Medics decide to cut the skin on his calves to relieve dangerous swelling and Andy will need major surgery.
Andy lives alone and likes to help his neighbours, especially Jean, who he sees as a surrogate mother. “He lost his parents quite young,” says Jean. “I think Andy liked to help people because it made him feel wanted.”
59-year-old Angela has come to St George’s with her husband Antoni. She has a history of heart disease and her heart has been beating at over 150 bpm for eight hours, risking stroke and other complications. Cardiologist Dr Arun’s attempts to bring down Angela’s pulse using a powerful drug aren’t successful, so he decides to electrically shock her heart to reset it.
As his wife is treated, Antoni talks about how he first met Angela when they were teenagers, but they both subsequently married other people and didn’t get together until they had both got divorced. “She’s a bubbly person, would get on with anyone,” says Antoni. “She just gets on with life. Ange is just naturally that way inclined. We’re two parts of the jigsaw that fit together and, as far as I know, we’re happy.”
Meanwhile 3-year-old Shane has come to A&E after falling off a trampoline at his grandma Marion’s house. His sister Milly thinks Shane is faking it, but it turns out Shane has broken his leg and it will need to be put in a cast. Marion delivered Shane at home on Christmas morning and he’s named after his uncle who died young. “Shane’s special…he’s our baby Jesus!” says Marion.