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Former Stafford Medical Secretary to feature in final episode of 999:Critical Condition

A Stafford grandmother who received a life-saving operation for a massive hiatus hernia at University Hospitals of North Midlands is to feature in the final episode of 999:Critical Condition on Channel 5 at 9pm on Wednesday 26 July.

Margaret Hale, 73, underwent keyhole surgery to repair the huge hernia which allowed most of her stomach to move upwards into her chest - twisting and threatening its blood supply.

In the episode, Consultant in Upper Gastrointestinal and Oesophagogastric Surgery Mr Oliver Priest, explains that if he doesn’t repair the damage and bring Margaret’s stomach down into the correct position, large portions of her stomach will die, releasing food out into her chest which could have dire consequences.

Today Margaret said: “In a nutshell I began to get severe pain every time I ate and began deteriorating to the point when I was struggling to eat a whole meal. I just felt full very quickly.”

She added: “Before retiring 10 years ago, I was a medical secretary for gastroenterology and therefore I was familiar with the terminology and asked to see my scans. When I saw them I thought they were upside down because of where my stomach actually was!”

Margaret, who is married to Jim and between them have three children and two grandchildren, was an inpatient at Royal Stoke for four days before being discharged back home.

“It has been an interesting experience and the care was really good. Immediately after the operation I felt like I had been hit by a sledge hammer but the pain control and everyone post-op were fantastic. The most difficult thing has been getting back to eating and thinking about food because I just haven’t had any interest,” Margaret said.

She added: “The best is that I feel well and can eat anything. I am back singing with Stafford Choral, keeping fit and playing tennis.”

Royal Stoke University Hospital has been the sole focus of documentary 999 :Critical Condition, which takes an up-close, immersive look at the critical moments when patients in a life-threatening condition come through the hospital's doors.

The gripping series has been filmed by providing extraordinary access to the hospital's Major Trauma Centre and other specialist emergency departments to film makers Brinkworth Productions for the last five years.

Also in the final episode on, Michael is rushed into resus with a significant laceration to his head. Having plummeted 15 feet onto concrete, his head has taken the full impact of the fall and causing a substantial wound which is bleeding out.

38-year-old Nathan has suffered a number of life-threatening fits after a potential blackout in falling downstairs. Trauma Team Leader Hari Mandava, is worried that his patient has suffered a life-threatening bleed in his brain.

And Gareth is rushed in after being run-over by his own van, which has crushed his leg - causing potentially life-changing damage.


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