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Episode 4

When Rachel is admitted to Royal Stoke emergency department after a head-on collision with another car, trauma team leader Anthony Taylor fears the worst. Trapped inside her vehicle for over an hour, Rachel’s condition is now critical. Anthony and his team know that time is of the essence, but before they can get her to a much-needed scan to assess the extent of her broken bones, her breathing deteriorates and it’s a race against time to stabilise her and save her life. 

Across the hospital, Sally has been rushed in for an emergency surgery. During a routine mammogram it was discovered that Sally not only had breast cancer, but also an aortic aneurism. Already at twice the normal size, Sally’s aorta is in grave danger of rupturing - which could prove life-threatening. Now Mr Warwick and his surgical team must navigate the risk of stroke and organ failure to perform complex open-heart surgery, giving her the best chance of survival so she can begin her cancer treatment.  

Back in the Emergency Department, Shaun arrives as an emergency transfer from another hospital, after scans revealed multiple broken bones following an accident on his electric mountain bike. However, after examining Shaun, Trauma Team Leader Richard Hall fears that he has yet more life changing injuries – potentially to his spine. The race is on to get him to an operating theatre quickly and safely. 

Finally, Trauma Team Leader, Diane Adamson treats Geoffrey, an 88-year-old farmer who has been attacked by one of his cows. Knowing a farmer’s capacity for pain, she is on high alert and when Geoffrey starts complaining of chest pain, Diane knows she will have to act fast before his condition deteriorates further. 

999: Critical Condition: Model spends almost two months at UHNM following near fatal car crash.

A Staffordshire model who suffered multiple life-threatening injuries following a car crash on her way to a photo shoot will appear on Channel 5’s 999: Critical Condition, filmed at University Hospitals of North Midlands.

Rachel Downes, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was not far from home when her car was involved in a head on collision with another car. She was trapped in the car for more than hour and rescued by Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service before making her way to Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Major Trauma Centre by ambulance.

Today the part-time model, apprenticeship coach and fitness instructor said: “I don’t remember much about the crash itself and I arrived in hospital unconscious so I only know what people have told me. I had significant injuries and many of them have been life changing. I am still utilising my wheelchair, although I try to manage without and my right arm is completely restricted and I am unable to bend or straighten it fully.”

Her story will be told in the Channel 5 Documentary which was filmed exclusively at Royal Stoke and on screens on Wednesdays at 9pm. Trauma Team Leader Dr Anthony Taylor and the team in resus are seen as they race against time to stabilise her and assess the extent of her broken bones.

The 29-year-old said: “I was in hospital for a long time and was in a coma for three weeks in intensive care. When I was well enough I was moved to the trauma ward and received rehabilitation care in the Acute Rehabilitation Trauma Unit (ARTU) for several weeks before being discharged home. I am still receiving physiotherapy and hand therapy and I am in a lot of pain but it is being managed. If anything I have struggled more mentally dealing with my injuries but I am getting there.”

She added: “I still have a long way to go on my recovery and have regular follow up appointments but I am grateful for all the care I have received.”