Episode 3 Bizarre ER


Episode 3

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With mind-boggling medical mishaps...

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-Ow.

-..and the quirkiest of casualties...

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Me boyfriend dropped a turnip on me foot.

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..this is Bizarre ER.

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And for the first time we've camped out in not one but two British hospitals -

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Northampton General and Bradford Royal Infirmary...

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Hello!

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..to bring you the curious cases that are all in a day's work for the stoic staff...

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Can you see your pound coin there?

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..but which have to be seen to be believed.

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GRUNTS OF PAIN

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Plus, we've scoured the planet for the people who, thanks to amazing medics, have survived

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the most extraordinary accidents and emergencies known to man.

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Nobody believes they're going to get the Black Death.

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So scrub up, sit back and enjoy the sometimes silly,

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often odd, but never dull world of Bizarre ER.

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-All I can say is, thank heavens for the NHS.

-Thank you.

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Coming up - staff reel in a curious catch of the day...

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..an eye-opening injury for one unlucky lady...

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This is just so bizarre, really.

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..and the astonishing story of how a New Zealander narrowly escaped death

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after being crushed by a leaping half-ton dolphin.

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If I didn't do the right thing, she would die.

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But first we're heading to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where it's 5th November,

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although our next cute casualty isn't here with a bonfire-related bump or burn.

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Little Aaron's here because he's dropped a coin down his cakehole.

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Aaron was at home happily licking the dirt off a pound coin - we know not why.

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He was sat on the couch cleaning it in his mouth for some reason.

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And a firework went off and the pound went belooomp!

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It's down to Doctor Shabir to get to the bottom of this one.

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-Right, what's happened?

-Swallowed a pound coin.

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-Swallowed a pound coin?

-Yeah.

-OK - what time did you swallow this coin?

-About five to seven.

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-Any tummy pain?

-He keeps saying he's got tummy ache now.

-Right, OK.

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The first thing the doctor checks is his chest.

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He's listening for any loose change rattling about in his lungs...

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Take a deep breath. And out.

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..which could restrict breathing and potentially put Aaron's life at risk.

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If it goes down into the airways, then he could potentially choke as well.

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But in this case basically he had no respiratory distress.

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Excellent, just lie back down for me.

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-Does that hurt?

-Yeah.

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It's looking clear on the lungs, but Aaron's obviously in some pain.

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-Is it hurting around here?

-Yeah.

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-Here?

-Yeah.

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What we'll do, we'll get an X-ray done - his chest and his tummy as well - to see where the coin is.

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We've got to make sure it's not in the neck area or in the chest or it's not gone down his airway.

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Very unlikely, because he's breathing OK,

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but we are going to get a chest X-ray done and a tummy X-ray, just to find out basically where the coin is.

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Aaron!

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-Come on, young man - are you coming in, Mummy?

-Yep.

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Now then - what we looking for?

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-A pound.

-Whose pound?

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Mine.

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Radiologist Sandra Wood is in charge of the NHS's state-of-the-art metal detector.

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This is my camera, look.

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It's just got a nice bright light and this is going to shine through

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this skin of yours so I can find that pound coin.

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-If I find it, can I spend it?

-No!

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No?! Are you sure about that?

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I'm going to give you a shout in a minute to take in a nice big breath,

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like you're going to blow your birthday candles out, OK?

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-Yeah.

-And then when you hear my magic beep, it's finished.

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Yey, finished!

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Which one of us spots the pound?

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-Me first, it's mine. Right?

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Sandra's spotted it, but she might have a bit of a wait before she can claim her prize.

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He'll definitely have to poo that one out!

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Can you see it, Aaron?

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It's there, look.

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And it's gone in through here, all the way down here into your tummy

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and now it's going round here like this to work its way out.

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So what you need to take home...

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-No, no! We're just going to flush it down the toilet!

-..are these!

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To find it when it comes out!

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Mum won't be looking for it!

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-You have to put them on so you can find your pound!

-There you go, you'll have to find it!

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The Chapmans head off to enjoy the last of the fireworks,

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but it'll be one or two days before their mini slot machine pays out.

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When it comes to medical mishaps and misery,

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money truly is the root of all evil.

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The annual rate of A&E admissions caused by coinage

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is a staggering 12,000.

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The vast majority of these involve children -

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mostly because most of the infant investors

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attempt to make a deposit in their belly rather than the bank.

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A paltry penny can cause damage to the oesophagus, the stomach

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and the intestine, and that's if the poor wee mite hasn't choked.

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Even if you're not snacking on shrapnel, filthy lucre can still be a menace.

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The flu virus survives so well on banknotes

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that experts think dirty cash could help spread the next pandemic.

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And a 2001 study found that

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over 90% of the notes they tested carried bacteria,

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with just under 10% home to more dangerous germs

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like Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae,

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which can cause severe food poisoning and pneumonia.

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Lusting after lolly can also come at a heavy price.

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A frenzied dash for cash ensued when a Czech radio station announced a random 5,000 giveaway.

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26 men, women and children caught up in the scramble ended up worse off by having to be hospitalised.

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And, while being short-changed can be maddening, it's sometimes best to let the loose change go.

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There are at least 50 known cases of men being crushed

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while trying to tip vending machines that have withheld their wonga -

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three of whom died.

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Remember, you can't take it with you when you go.

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Our next patient has come to Bradford Royal Infirmary A&E

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hopping mad after a bizarre culinary calamity.

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Me boyfriend dropped a turnip on me foot.

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And there we were thinking veg was meant to be good for you!

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He'd been shopping, he were putting it into t'fridge and he dropped it like from six foot high.

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Could have a broken foot off of a vegetable.

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I've never known that.

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The treacherous turnip has left Chelsea nursing a very tender trotter,

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and it's the job of Dr David Robinson to get to the root of her problem.

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-Whereabouts is your foot hurting?

-Like, round...all round this area.

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I'm going to examine your foot now and I just want you to tell me if it's sore where I'm pressing, OK?

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-Ow!

-Sorry. Is it sore on this side?

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-Yeah.

-Yep. Can you wiggle your toes for me?

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So that hurts doing that, yeah?

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-And do you feel me touching your toes here?

-Yeah.

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Being hobbled by a 2lb turnip dropped from a 6ft bloke might not sound so serious -

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but the vicious veggie could have fractured Chelsea's foot or damaged her tendons.

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So she's sent to X-ray so the doctors can assess the damage.

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What do the X-rays turn up?

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Your X-ray looks fine. So you haven't broken anything,

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but you've got bruising and tenderness to the top of your foot.

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This might swell up a bit.

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Try and elevate your foot, so get it up.

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If you're getting lots of swelling, put some ice on this.

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Frozen peas are good. Not fresh vegetables, obviously. OK?

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I'm buying already diced from now on!

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As Chelsea hobbles home, she can take comfort in the fact that by following up a whole turnip

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with a serving of frozen peas, at least her feet are getting two of her five-a-day.

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Next, we're heading to Northampton General, where staff see their fair share of rugged sporting injuries.

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But it's the gentle art of fishing that's brought our next patient to A&E.

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Avid angler Barry Jones is the kind of chap who wouldn't hurt a fly.

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In this case it's a fly that's hurt him - a fly-fishing hook, to be precise, which has barbed his beak.

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Been in a fishing competition today and had a slight accident.

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My friend Stuart, as he's casting his line, has caught the hook in my nose.

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I've never fished with Stuart before - shan't fish with him again.

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Never again, obviously!

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Barry and Stuart spent the afternoon competing in their club's annual fly-fishing contest.

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With seven fish already in the bag, Barry was having a whale of a time, when disaster struck.

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A freak gust of wind caught Stuart's fly and sent the hook straight up Barry's hooter.

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Rather than rushing to A&E, gutsy Barry got Stuart to cut the line so

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he could spend an extra hour on the water knowing that all he needed was one more fish to clinch top prize.

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This dirty left hook is straight out of the lake, so there's a danger that

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the wound could go septic or cause blood poisoning, which could even mean losing the end of the nose.

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So it's vital the hook is removed cleanly and quickly.

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Hoping to unhook our unfortunate angler is emergency nurse practitioner Graham Seaton.

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I just hope he's got a steady hand.

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First up, Graham offers local anaesthetic,

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but the prospect of another piercing proves too much for Barry.

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Not too keen on injections.

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Do you want us to do it without the anaesthetic?

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You can try, yes, without the anaesthetic, if you like, yeah.

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And it seems Barry is a very hands-on patient

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who's got his own ideas about how to tackle the problem.

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You've got to take all the dressing off there, then snip that off, so that's the widest part.

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And then push that in, and that will come out straight through like that.

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Yes. If at any point you want me to stop, obviously say, and we'll, erm...

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-Numb me up.

-Numb it, yeah.

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As Graham and nurse Gail Hare get ready to begin, Barry's angling for a chance to get involved.

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-I need...

-Do you want me to hold the hook steady

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while you take the dressing off with the scalpel?

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Can I slip your hat off?

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And before they know it, he's taking his treatment into his own hands.

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Hang on, Barry - that's your snout, not a trout.

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See, that's slowly coming off now, see it?

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For club-mate Stuart, Barry's active approach is all too familiar.

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When he's fishing, he's like a meerkat -

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he stands up in the boat and his head's spinning from side to side.

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Barry's a bit of an expert, really, so he's always showing me the error of my ways.

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If you have a pair of pliers there, or something to hold it there, you can do it.

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-Hard for me to do, you see.

-OK.

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The fluffy fake fly on the end of the hook isn't budging,

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so Graham has no option but to give it the snip.

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But just as they're making progress, Barry's up again and sticking his nose in.

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If you come straight through the nose now, it should come out.

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-Can you see it starting to pierce the skin?

-Yeah.

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Pulling the trapped tackle could rip the nose wide open -

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the only way forward is to use the hook to pierce the nostril and push it out the other side.

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It's an eye-watering experience for brave Barry, who's still had no anaesthetic.

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Very good, thank you.

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I'll give that back to Stuart.

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It was a rather unusual that the patient wanted to assist so much as he did!

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It's his nose, it's his hook and his decision - so I thought, well, yeah, why not?

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-It's all right now.

-Is it sore?

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-Yeah. It's fine.

-Have they got my hook back?

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They had to throw that away, but it's about time we went to the pub, don't you?

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You're right.

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Barry's off the hook, and the pair head out of A&E relieved and ready for a well-earned pint.

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# You've gone fishing... #

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A few days later, Barry and Stuart are back in the boozer with their fishermen friends.

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But how's the hooter?

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As the swelling's gone down, it's back to normal, no problem.

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So, all's well that ends well.

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So, did Barry manage to net this year's top prize?

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This is the trophy.

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This is what it was all about.

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I wasn't overall winner. I was overall winner last year, but joint winner this year.

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I still think he should have won by a nose, though.

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# Oh, yeah! #

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We're back to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where an eye-watering case has come into A&E.

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Ramona Zukirsky's been rushed in looking a vision after she ripped her right eyelid in half.

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-How many fingers can you see?

-I can see three, but it's blurred.

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That's fine.

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-Retail assistant Ramona was rushing around at work preparing for a big sale.

-Do you have these in an eight?

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With tons of trendy togs to pack, stack and rack, Ramona was adjusting

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-the height of the rails to perfect her display.

-Perfect display.

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Forgetting her newly-positioned waist-high rail, Ramona bent down to pick up some clothes

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and smashed eye first into the end of the protruding bar.

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Do you have this in red?

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Ugh!

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I was in a bit of a shock, and when you say you see stars in front of

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your eyes, it's true, you do - I saw stars. I just thought, "Am I going to see again?"

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That's all I was concerned about - this is just so bizarre, really.

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Seeing to Ramona's lacerated lid is Dr Sahid Hussain.

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Can you look down?

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I'm just going to pull your eyelid up -

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does it hurt when I pull?

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-Not really, no.

-Yeah. Look straight to my finger.

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So it needs to be repaired, because they are not in one piece.

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It is hanging like this.

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If the eyelid's damaged, there's a chance the eye is, too.

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Dr Hussain is concerned the rail may have scratched the surface causing what's known as a corneal abrasion.

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If these aren't treated properly, infection can set in, causing ulcers and in the worst cases, blindness.

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I don't want to look at it! I'm a bit scared now, actually.

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Before he can peer into her peeper, Dr Hussain has to put in a couple of drops - first to numb the eye

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and then to colour it yellow.

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Using a blue light he can check the damage, which will show up in green.

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Look straight.

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The cornea's clear - well, it's a bit yellow, but that doesn't mean that there isn't

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deeper damage to the lens or retina, so Dr Hussain goes old school to check Ramona can see properly.

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Can you read this line?

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-Not really - I can see the Y...

-Yeah.

-Is it U?

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Worryingly, the chart's all a bit of a blur for Ramona,

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so she's rushed to eye casualty where specialist Dr Aberdine can have a closer look.

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OK, look up to the top of your head for me.

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Using a slick microscope, Dr Aberdine's piercing gaze goes right to the back of Ramona's eye.

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Is Ramona looking at long-term problems with her eyesight?

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You can get a whole spectrum of injuries within the eye,

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with such blunt trauma, so she has got off lightly, really.

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So, it's good news, but her busted blinker still needs sewing up.

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For now it's time to get some shut-eye.

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But we'll see how Ramona fares in surgery later in the show.

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Bizarre cases aren't confined to Britain,

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and in this series we've scoured the globe to bring you the world's most extraordinary emergencies.

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Down under, in a cruel and curious twist of fate, one kiwi dolphin fanatic was almost

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killed by the sweet-squeaking sea mammal she loves the most when she was flattened by Flipper.

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Welcome to New Zealand - home to Hobbits, a few million sheep and dolphin-lover Kelly Lawson.

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I've loved dolphins all my life.

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Kelly loves dolphins so much she even has a tattoo of one.

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Given how much Kelly loves these supposedly adorable creatures,

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the last thing she expected is that one of them would turn evil

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and almost crush her to death.

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In 2006, Kelly and long-term boyfriend Dion were having the perfect kiwi Christmas.

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Fabulous weather and awesome location. Time of our lives, pretty much.

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Kelly and friends decided to do a spot of fishing.

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They jumped into their boats and things got better

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when a pod of dolphins showed up and put on an amazing acrobatic display.

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Kelly thought all of her Christmases had come at once.

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The show that they were putting on was spectacular, and that to top off

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the awesome day that we'd had already was

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pretty incredible.

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But Kelly's heavenly day was about to descend into hell when

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a massive dolphin weighing 300 kilos leapt into the air and came crashing down on its number-one fan.

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That's the same weight as a piano smashing down onto her chest.

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Kelly's ribs shattered into pieces, her internal organs flattened like a pancake and her lungs popped.

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Apparently I looked up and screamed, which pretty much saved my life.

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Because if I was sitting in the position I remember,

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the dolphin would have landed on my back, which would have snapped my neck and killed me instantly.

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Bizarrely, the dolphin had landed right on her tattoo, leaving a devastating aftermath.

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Flipper flopped back into the water without a care, leaving a crushed Kelly fighting for her life.

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The accident was so bizarre, rescue crews thought it was a prank -

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it wasn't until the fourth call came through that they sent a helicopter.

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It was the weirdest thing

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you could ever imagine. An aquatic mammal landing on top of a human -

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it's just never happened before.

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Contemplating the consequences of that, you'd think, "Boy, she could be really sick."

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She was. Kelly's lungs had collapsed, and air was escaping from them.

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She had bruising to her brain, a torn and bleeding liver, fractured vertebrae and a broken pelvis.

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This all adds up to a very, very bad situation.

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It's hard to describe how you feel in a situation like that.

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It's just basically, you're just shocked.

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The helicopter arrived, and paramedic Chris Deacon was first on the scene.

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Kelly was close to death.

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Kelly was very pale, she was unconscious...

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Air from Kelly's lungs was leaking into her chest cavity, which is potentially fatal.

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A lot of air trapped underneath the skin, sort of in the subcutaneous layer, feels like Rice Bubbles.

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That's Rice Krispies to those who don't speak kiwi.

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The escaping air put pressure on Kelly's lungs, making breathing even more difficult.

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If I didn't do the right thing, she would die.

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She needed an urgent decompression of her chest, which is done with a very big needle.

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Oh, mate, that is humongus.

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The steel goes down into the chest, and the air can escape out.

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We can do more damage than good if it's in the wrong place.

0:20:180:20:22

A chest decompression is usually used as a last resort.

0:20:220:20:26

For me, it was either...this working or Kelly not being alive.

0:20:260:20:32

Due to Kelly being blown up like a puffer fish...

0:20:320:20:35

..I couldn't see any of her anatomical landmarks, so I measured off myself.

0:20:370:20:42

So, using his own body as a reference, Chris attempted to plunge

0:20:420:20:45

the needle into Kelly - which proved difficult.

0:20:450:20:48

A lot of the ribs were broken. As I was trying to push the needle in,

0:20:480:20:51

the chest just kept moving away from me - it was just collapsing away.

0:20:510:20:55

Finally Chris got the needles into Kelly's chest, who thankfully began to breathe again, but only just.

0:20:550:21:01

Kelly needed specialist care to properly repair her lungs and she was rushed to Auckland Hospital.

0:21:040:21:10

She was critically ill, she was gasping for breath, she was blue,

0:21:100:21:14

she was cold and she was quite close to death at that point.

0:21:140:21:18

Doctors needed to see what damage the dolphin had caused internally.

0:21:180:21:22

Kelly was rushed for X-rays and scans.

0:21:220:21:24

Extensive bruising to her lungs,

0:21:240:21:27

it showed widespread rib fractures on both sides.

0:21:270:21:31

It showed collections of air in the lung cavity.

0:21:310:21:35

That made the first actions relatively clear-cut, in that we needed to put a tube in

0:21:350:21:39

to support her breathing and we needed to put two drains into

0:21:390:21:44

her chest to allow the lungs to re-expand.

0:21:440:21:46

When Kelly came to, there was only one thing she wanted to know.

0:21:460:21:51

Was the dolphin OK? Which is pretty typical of an animal lover.

0:21:510:21:55

With the important questions answered, Kelly's treatment began.

0:21:560:21:59

Most of our intensive care patients are out of the ICU

0:22:000:22:04

within a day or two,

0:22:040:22:06

but Kelly was there for over ten days on a ventilator.

0:22:060:22:09

And that was because it took that long for her lungs to heal.

0:22:090:22:12

Under expert one-to-one care, Kelly's broken ribs and pelvis

0:22:120:22:15

slowly grew scar tissue, which over time turns into rigid bone,

0:22:150:22:19

and her liver and lungs healed like a cut on the skin scabbing over.

0:22:190:22:23

I had no idea how sick I was.

0:22:230:22:25

I had fought for my life, I had no comprehension of that whatsoever.

0:22:250:22:28

After six weeks in hospital, the hard work for Kelly really began.

0:22:280:22:33

With the help of a physio, Kelly strengthened her muscles and joints.

0:22:330:22:36

When something like this happens in your life with someone that you

0:22:360:22:39

care about, love, you find out what's important.

0:22:390:22:42

Kelly and Dion decided to tie the knot, but even

0:22:420:22:46

on her big day, Kelly couldn't shake off her love of

0:22:460:22:48

dolphins, and a frozen Flipper took pride of place at the wedding.

0:22:480:22:54

And in spite of her gruelling internal injuries, Kelly now leads a happy and

0:22:540:22:58

normal life, which only got better in February 2010 with the birth of the couple's daughter, Alissa.

0:22:580:23:05

Time now to enter the Bizarre ER confessional.

0:23:100:23:14

We've invited medics from across the land to share the funniest

0:23:140:23:19

and freakiest things they've seen in A&E.

0:23:190:23:22

These stories might sound far-fetched, but they're all 100% true.

0:23:220:23:27

I remember one evening a man was brought into A&E clutching his chest

0:23:370:23:41

accompanied by a petite oriental lady.

0:23:410:23:44

I asked him if his companion was his wife.

0:23:440:23:46

"Oh, no," he explained, "she's 100 miles away."

0:23:460:23:49

Turns out he was down on conference and he'd met his companion only earlier on that evening.

0:23:490:23:54

I explained to him gently that it's not unusual for guilt-laden sex to trigger off a heart attack.

0:23:540:24:01

He blushed deeply and explained that things hadn't got quite that far.

0:24:010:24:06

It turns out that the female he picked up in the bar was actually

0:24:060:24:09

a he-male and what had triggered the angina was not sexual activity,

0:24:090:24:13

but shock when he discovered the contents of the small sequinned cocktail dress.

0:24:130:24:18

I was asked to examine a lady who was suffering from constipation.

0:24:240:24:28

This lady was pretty big, and so in order to examine her properly

0:24:280:24:32

I needed some assistance from two nurses.

0:24:320:24:34

These two nurses got the lady, they rolled her over as I was going

0:24:340:24:38

to try and examine her bottom to see if there was a problem of outflow obstruction.

0:24:380:24:43

As I put my finger into the back, I must have dislodged something,

0:24:430:24:47

and a large amount of poo just squelched all the way down my arm to about my elbow.

0:24:470:24:51

Now, I sort of recoiled in disgust and I went to go and take my glove off - and this has never

0:24:510:24:55

happened before or since - but as I pulled it back,

0:24:550:24:59

it pinged across and just splattered two nurses in faeces.

0:24:590:25:03

It was in their eyes, in their nose, in their mouth - and they were absolutely distressed.

0:25:030:25:07

They put the patient back down again and as they moved away, the funniest

0:25:070:25:11

thing was, there was actually a silhouette of them both on the wall like Tom & Jerry.

0:25:110:25:15

And er, yeah. Had to buy them flowers.

0:25:150:25:18

Earlier in the show, we met Ramona, who'd battered her eyelid with a clothes rail, splitting it in two.

0:25:270:25:32

Thankfully, she hasn't done any permanent damage, but her peeper still needs patching up.

0:25:320:25:37

So she's back at Bradford Royal Infirmary with her sight set on surgery.

0:25:370:25:43

Overseeing the procedure is consultant eye specialist Mr Brogden.

0:25:470:25:51

As he's only numbing the area with local anaesthetic, Ramona will be

0:25:510:25:55

-awake throughout the procedure and able to keep an eye on things.

-Oh!

0:25:550:26:00

Mr Brogden first realigns the two halves of the lid.

0:26:000:26:05

He then stitches them back together using dissolvable thread, taking care to ensure

0:26:050:26:10

that Ramona's luscious lashes all point in the right direction.

0:26:100:26:14

That's coming together quite nicely.

0:26:140:26:17

A strip of plaster finishes the procedure, while a lick of mascara completes the look.

0:26:170:26:23

It went very well. It was a significant injury, really.

0:26:230:26:27

It's difficult to tell until you get the patient into theatre and

0:26:270:26:30

have a look - but it involved the full thickness of the eyelid.

0:26:300:26:33

It's a bit like organising a jigsaw really,

0:26:330:26:35

and it came together nicely. So hopefully the result will be good.

0:26:350:26:39

A week later, and Ramona's back at the eye department so that Mr Brogden can have a final look.

0:26:430:26:48

It's also the first time Ramona's seen his handiwork.

0:26:480:26:51

There's no infection there, it's healing up and it's nice and clean.

0:26:510:26:55

-It's good for this stage.

-That's good. Does it look all right?

0:26:550:26:59

Do you want to look in the mirror?

0:26:590:27:01

I don't know whether I want to!

0:27:010:27:02

Let's have a look. Far better than last Thursday anyway, yeah!

0:27:020:27:09

# I can see clearly now the rain is gone... #

0:27:090:27:13

Thanks to the combined efforts of the Bradford staff,

0:27:130:27:17

Ramona's all set to resume her retail career - hopefully without any run-ins with railings.

0:27:170:27:22

Let's hope she's spotted those ones right in front of her.

0:27:220:27:26

# Bright, bright sun-shiney day. #

0:27:260:27:28

Next time on Bizarre ER, we meet the girl who's darned her own digit...

0:27:360:27:40

..a cute casualty refuses to let go of the lego...

0:27:420:27:45

..and the chilling tale of how doctors saved a skater boy

0:27:480:27:51

by putting his smashed up skull into deep freeze.

0:27:510:27:54

You really put peas in a freezer, not your skull.

0:27:560:27:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:090:28:13

E-mail [email protected]

0:28:130:28:17

Featuring a woman who was injured when her boyfriend dropped a turnip on her foot; a retail assistant whose eyelid was ripped in half when she smashed face-first into the end of a clothes rail; a man with a fly-fishing hook stuck in his nose; and a schoolboy who swallowed a pound coin.

Plus, we head down under to meet the New Zealander who survived being crushed by a leaping, half-tonne dolphin.


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