Spoiler alert for episode four of ’24 Hours in A&E’
In this week’s episode those providing the bedside support take centre stage as a girlfriend, a wife and a daughter keep spirits high in difficult times.
First up is 22-year-old Paul who’s been stabbed in the face and arm with a broken bottle outside a nightclub in Kingston. The former boxer is rushed into A&E accompanied by his girlfriend Naveena.
Staff at St George’s are used to dealing with stabbings and charge nurse Daryl explains what they’re looking out for. “The main concerns are going to be scarring, loss of vision if they’ve done something to their eye,” he says. “Someone could die from a facial stabbing: your spinal cord runs right down the back of your neck, the base of your skull and your brain.”
As the medical team works to stop the bleeding and treat Paul’s wounds, his girlfriend reflects on his sensitive side. “Paul is very good in situations that I’m not so good in,” says Naveena. “Violent things or things where he knows that something wrong’s happening. He’s always very protective, nothing ever goes wrong.”
70-year-old John arrives with his wife Francesca after falling awkwardly while out running and painfully dislocating his shoulder. To get John’s pain under control quickly the medical team give him Ketamine and the hallucinogenic side effects keep Francesca and the staff entertained as they prepare to relocate his shoulder.
While doctors notice a loss of sensation in John’s arm and treat him for potential nerve damage, his wife Francesca talks about how they met and their life together.
“When I met him he used to rally a little Mini,” she says. “I said to mum ‘Oh, he’s a really nice guy. He’s just such a nice chap. But John was going out with somebody, which I didn’t know. And she was his navigator. So I suspect he might have asked me out before he told her!”
Meanwhile 93-year-old Angela is brought to A&E by her daughter Elizabeth after suffering from blood loss and disorientation at her care home. While doctors investigate what is causing Angela’s symptoms, Elizabeth keeps her company and shares happy memories of growing up.
“We were all born very close together. Three daughters with a really lovely mum,” she says. “We used to fight over sitting on her lap. You might find her sitting at the breakfast table with all three children sort of hanging from her just wanting to be around her.”