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Series 4 - Episode 2



Sophie, 22, was at home when she developed what she thought was just a cold. But it was an inflammation of the brain stem, leaving her unable to breathe, swallow and speak. 

She’s been in the intensive care unit of the specialist Walton Centre in Liverpool for a year; she’s lively, engaged and desperate to return home. But her care requirements are too great: at any time she could stop breathing and need to be resuscitated.

Tom, 18, looks, on the face of it, perfectly fine as he roams the unit’s corridors, bored and restless. But after a catastrophic car accident that left him with serious brain injuries, he can’t retain information – he has to be constantly reminded that he’s in hospital in Liverpool.

It’s yet another moving, heartening glimpse into the NHS and the extraordinary dedication of its staff as they juggle beds and budgets.


The documentary focuses on the staff and patients of the Walton Centre, the UK's only dedicated spine, brain and pain management centre, which sits adjacent to Aintree University Hospital. Among the patients are 22-year-old Sophie, who suffered serious inflammation of the brain stem which means she has to be on a ventilator at night, and Tom, 18, who sustained significant head injuries in a car crash and now struggles to remember the simplest of things. For further rehabilitation, however, he will need private rehabilitation services, and that will require funding.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Lorraine Charker-Phillips
Executive Producer Simon Dickson
Executive Producer Jackie Waldock
Series Editor Sunshine Jackson
Series Producer Meghan Just-Truelove
Series Producer Gayl Paterson
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