GPs Behind Closed Doors - The Patient Files Episode 7
“GPs: Behind Closed Doors - The Patient Files” takes the hit Channel 5 show “GPs: Behind Closed Doors” to a whole new level. Over the course of seven specials, we revisit the most memorable, moving, heartwarming and life affirming patient consultations from the first three series of “GPs: Behind Closed Doors” and embellish them with astonishingly frank interviews with the patients themselves.
Tonight: a dignified and extremely moving interview with Kayla Mead whose partner Kevin Duckham recently died of lung cancer.
We met Kayla and Kevin in Series 3 of “GPs” when they came in to see Dr Eleanor Beecraft. Having been given a terminal diagnosis, Kevin and Kayla bought a narrow boat and started a cancer charity, providing day trips for other terminal cancer sufferers.
In her interview Kayla describes how she and Kevin met; their unconventional lifestyle; their pragmatic attitude towards euthanasia; the invaluable support they received from the NHS and Macmillan and Kevin’s final hours, which Kayla describes as a, “beautiful death”.
Also tonight: Harry Higgs’ on-going battle with alcoholism means he is a regular patient at the Balham Park Practice. Harry is currently sober, and determined to remain so, and in this frank and revealing interview he offers a vivid account of a lifetime of heavy drinking.
Harry, who’s father also drank, had his first taste of alcohol aged just 10 and as a teenager was drinking 10 or 11 pints in a single session. Now in his 50’s, Harry’s continued drinking has led to divorce, violence, personal injury, imprisonment and mental health problems. Describing himself as a, “Jekyll and Hyde” personality, Harry is acutely aware of the damage his illness has caused to himself and his loved ones. But if, as he claims, he has finally kicked the booze, his future looks positive.
Tonight’s third interview features Sophie Elwes, an inspirational young woman who is paralysed from the chest down following an accident.
Sophie was at a friend’s party when she fell from a balcony. She damaged her spinal cord, was in a coma for five weeks and given only a 40% chance of survival. She describes how she didn’t believe her doctors when they told her she would never walk again and how, when the truth finally dawned, she went through a period of mourning.
Now, having adapted to life in a wheelchair, Sophie has an astonishingly positive mental attitude. She realises her accident has made her a better, more rounded, “less shallow” person, able to appreciate the important things in life. And she has an ambition to represent Britain in the Para Winter Olympics as a downhill ski racer!
Love conquers all, is the prevailing message from tonight’s fourth patient files interview. Keith Prosser was filling up at a service station when he collapsed unconscious – the victim of a huge tumour in his stomach that he did not know was there. The tumour was causing massive internal bleeding and by the time his wife May arrived at his hospital bedside, Keith was slipping away, despite having received a six-pint blood transfusion.
According to Keith it was May’s voice that pulled him back from the abyss, compelling him to open his eyes and fight to remain conscious. Now, having had the tumour successfully removed, Keith has regained his strength and He and May are making every day of their new life together count.