A critically-injured van driver who was airlifted to hospital after a crash at Hildenborough is be featured in award-winning TV medical documentary 24 Hours in A&E next week (July 17th).
Father-of-two Tony, 59, was delivering pharmaceuticals when he was involved in a head-on collision on Tonbridge Road and trapped in the vehicle.
He had to be cut free by firefighters as Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance arrived within seven minutes and landed on a nearby school field.
Tony was given emergency treatment at the road-side by the helicopter’s doctor and critical care paramedic before being flown to King’s College Hospital in London, in just 24 minutes.
Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E shows him arriving at King’s where he is met by a consultant-led trauma team available 24 hours a day.
“People die in car accidents every day,” says consultant Jacqui. “It was high speed and there was a lot of damage from head to toe. There’s a chance that he may not recover.”
Tony’s father Jack, daughter Tracy and wife Trudi wait anxiously while the medical team assess the extent of his injuries following the collision in March.
He has a dislocated hip, a smashed knee and can’t feel his right leg plus he has broken ribs and a collapsed lung. It’s clear this is just the start of a long stay in hospital.
It’s difficult for the whole family but especially for his parents as Tony’s brother Dean died at King’s from a brain haemorrhage when he was 17 and they face the prospect of losing another son at the hospital.
“You can’t explain to people how you feel,” says Jack. “You don’t ever expect your children to go before you, so your mind’s never prepared for it.”
More than 90 cameras filmed around the clock at King’s, offering unprecedented access to one of Britain’s busiest accident and emergency departments.
The hospital is recognised internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma.
24 Hours in A&E is on every Wednesday at 9pm and won a Royal Television Society Award last year.