Sneak peek into tonight’s episode of 24 Hours in A&E “Love through the ages”
The RTS award-winning documentary series follows patients treated in the same 24 hour period at St George’s. The hospital has one of the busiest A&E departments in Britain. It’s a place where stories of life, love and loss unfold every day.
This episode focuses on the changing nature of relationships between parents and children.
79-year-old Judith is airlifted to St George’s after being involved in a road traffic collision. Consultant Will is concerned she may have a pelvic fracture and a life threatening internal bleeding and declares her condition ‘code red’. Having just driven past a tailback of traffic resulting from her mother’s accident, her daughter Penny is contacted by the police. The internal bleeding is potentially putting Judith’s life at serious risk and Dr Will gives her an emergency blood transfusion to stabilise her.
Dr Will said: “Everybody thinks about the blood on the floor and about there being lots of blood everywhere but actually the majority of people that bleed to death do so inside their body cavities.”’
As Judith is sent for an emergency CT scan, Penny recounts her idyllic childhood growing up in Surrey with her mum dad and brothers. Initial scan results reveal a number of broken bones including the pelvis and spine and show a potential abnormality on her brain. Penny tells us of the tragic loss of her father to early onset dementia and her biggest fear is her mum suffering the same “for that scenario to happen again and to go through that all again would just be like no – please god, not for her.”
Meanwhile, 80-year-old Mohammad has come to A&E after falling at home during a family Eid celebratory feast. His son Saleh and daughter Naaz recall tales of Mohammad as the head of a large close family; “Mum and dads’ house is like the headquarters… He’s the roof of the house and imagine if the roof is not here? What does a house look like?”
Mohammad is taken for a CT scan to assess his head injury. Naaz reveals that her dad has been living with cancer and that she and her brother Saleh realise it’s now their time to look after the man that gave them everything, “You just can’t do enough for your parents to be honest.”
Finally, 56-year-old Russ is brought into resus having fallen from a ladder whilst cutting back some trees at work. Russ is unable to remember the accident and Dr Will is concerned he may have suffered from a seizure.
Whilst Russ is taken for a CT scan his wife Ali and daughter Rachel recall the joy Russ has always found in fatherhood “Dad is the joker of the family and I think that’s probably what made him such a good dad he was never scared to make himself look silly if it made me and my sister laugh.”
As Russ and the family wait for his scan results Rachel talks of an underlying anxiety that has been with Russ for a long time.
Doctor Will reflects on the changing dynamic between parents and children as people get older. “As they get older I can certainly imagine a sense of fulfilment at being able to provide care support for your parents. In a way, you are sort of returning some the love they gave to you, when they did that your entire childhood and brought you up to be the person you are today.”
Series Producer/Directors: Gemma Brady, Martin Conway and Lucie Duxbury
Executive Producers: Spencer Kelly
Production Company: The Garden Productions