Strong bonds forged on ’24 Hours in A&E’
This week’s episode focuses on families whose strong bonds have been forged through the worst that life can throw at them.
40-year-old betting shop owner Les is rushed to St George’s after losing control of his Land Rover on a country road on his way to work. Les has lacerations on his head, which will need to be treated with emergency surgery, but also lead the medical team to worry about underlying head or neck injuries.
Les’s dad Michael has driven in from Surrey where he lives with Les and another son. “I was a soldier from fifteen to thirty,” says Michael. “When I was in the military the kids had to do things for themselves, think for themselves, because I wasn’t there.”
Les’s mum died recently and Michael went into military mode. “I just sorted everything out in five minutes, organised the funeral and just sorted it all out,” says Michael. “Switch everything off, forget emotions and just do the job. It’s easier to think things through if you’re in that mode.”
21-year-old plumber Cambelle has come to A&E with her mum Michelle and girlfriend Julie. She has an infected cyst on her bottom that could require surgery.
“Cambelle was never a ‘girly’ girl,” says mum Michelle. “I used to put her in frilly dresses and frilly knickers and frilly socks and she would get it off as soon as possible. I should have seen the signs really. She never wanted dollies, she wanted toolkits. So I suppose she’s the boy I never had.”
Cambelle was only thirteen when Michelle was very ill and she had to look after her mum. “I realised I had to do a lot for my mum and my little sister,” says Cambelle. “I took on the roll of the man of the house.”
Cambelle’s sent to a ward for a strong dose of antibiotics and further assessment. She can’t wait to settle down with Julie and have her own South London family.
Meanwhile 67-year-old retired doctor Patrick is brought to A&E after falling from his horse and being dragged forty meters. He lay undiscovered for over two hours with a badly broken leg and his helmet smashed into three pieces.
Patrick, who’s also a Professor of Medicine has worked in hospital for thirty years. He’s sent for a CT scan to discover the full extent of the damage to his leg and determine whether he has any other injuries to his head or neck. “Patrick is somebody that keeps his emotions under lock and key,” says his wife Tracey. “He’s a typical older man that likes to keep those emotions in check.”