Against the Odds

Series 1 - Episode 3 Against the Odds



This has been a terrific series and it ends with another moving trio of case histories. We’re in brain tumour territory again, and here we endure two scenes where the neurosurgeons at Oxford have to break serious news to waiting patients and their relatives. It feels almost intrusive to have cameras there, but extraordinary to witness how people respond.

Also extraordinary are the operations themselves: at one point we plunge into a patient’s parted brain with an endoscope. “Everybody’s beautiful on the inside,” muses surgeon Alex. “It’s beautiful, amazing anatomy when you see it. You realise just how intricate we are.” You do indeed.


At Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, Adele is told that her three-year-old daughter Cerys has a brain tumour and that she needs an immediate operation. Senior paediatric neurosurgeon Jay Jayamohan spends hours removing as much of the growth as he can and then has to inform the anxious mother whether or not it is malignant.