Series 1 - Episode 5



There’s a moment tonight where a heart surgeon visits a prospective patient at his bed and asks for his date of birth. Answer: 19 March 1918. The surgeon needs a moment to take this in and so do we, because John is strong for his age, though a recent heart problem means he now gets breathless after walking a few hundred metres rather than his preferred four miles.

The solution could be an intricately clever procedure to insert a new heart valve via John’s leg – and he can remain wide awake throughout. The operating theatre scenes that follow are extraordinary – but tense too – and we’re left with a renewed respect for what doctors achieve daily.


An episode focusing on pioneering treatments for some of the oldest and youngest patients within NHS hospitals. A 98-year-old man arrives at Hammersmith Hospital to receive a landmark heart operation, the oldest person the surgeons have ever carried out the procedure on. At St Mary's Hospital, 18-year-old Debbie prepares to undergo a life-saving bone marrow transplant which could cure her of Sickle Cell Disease, and her brother Sam has agreed to donate his bone marrow in an effort to save her life.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Lorraine Charker-Phillips
Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Executive Producer Helen Littleboy
Series Editor Graeme McAulay
Series Producer Tom Currie
Series Producer Gilly Greenslade
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