“Stronger Together” is the next episode of ’24 Hours in A&E’
Having support in one of life’s moments is so important as this episode demonstrates.
52-year-old retired firefighter John is rushed to A&E by helicopter after being accidentally hit in the face by a golf club. The golf club hit him so hard that it snapped. John lost consciousness and is in an induced coma.
With a suspected critical head injury, John is sent straight for a CT scan. “Whenever someone comes by helicopter you already know it’s time critical. Every second counts, you don’t get a second chance,” says orthopaedic doctor Arash. “Time is brain, those tissues are very sensitive.”
John’s wife Allison is by his side. “John was in the fire brigade for 32 years. He loved the adrenaline, the excitement of what was going to happen next,” she says. “So much has happened to him, he went to the bombings in London, he saw such horrific things. To him it’s part of his job. He would put his life on the line to save someone. And then he goes off to play golf and ends up…”
As doctors assess the seriousness of John’s head injuries, they are also concerned that his right eye isn’t reacting as it should be. They decide to wake him from his coma but realise he is losing function down the right side of his body, which could indicate further problems.
77-year-old Joan has come to St George’s after falling down the stairs at home and hurting her leg. As she waits to be treated, Joan talks about growing up in Camberwell.
“Sixteen children, my mum had. And she was the eldest of 22 children. My mum and dad just put it down to there was no television!” says Joan. “I left school as soon as I could because money was badly needed in those days. I worked in a peanut factory, I only got about two pounds a week. I gave my mum half and that gave me a pound to go through the week.”
28-year-old Siobhan is in A&E with her twin sister Caroline after cutting her finger with a kitchen knife preparing butternut squash but according to nurse Anne, it’s avocados that are the biggest culprits for kitchen injuries.