Brain Hospital: Saving Lives

Series 1 - Episode 1

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This week's programme focuses on three young people. Ben was hit by a car and is in a coma, 26-year-old Joy must stay awake for removal of a brain tumour, and 21-year-old Kelsey is having deep brain stimulation for severe epilepsy.

"You enter into this world that is absolutely surreal," says Ben's mum, Joanne. "We're in a waiting room where all these families with their own stories are watching and asking about the progress of each other's family members. There's been sad stories, uplifting stories. It's just amazing, what this unit does."

We also meet Joy, 26, who is going to have to be awake for the removal of a brain tumour. Before a previous operation, she told herself: "Oh for heaven's sake, you're not having brain surgery!" Somehow hanging on to her sense of humour, she continues: "And now I am having brain surgery... the needles, the brain, the skull coming off... I don't have a choice."

21-year-old Kelsey has epilepsy so severe that she's having deep brain stimulation, a radical procedure in which electrodes are inserted into her brain to try and control it. "I've never seen anyone so happy coming into hospital," says her mother, Adele. The no-nonsense courage of the Walton's patients is a wonder to behold.

More episodes

  • Series 1 - Episode 2

    This week's episode follows two extraordinarily positive patients who face serious crises.

All episodes 

Comments (73)


    7 months ago



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  • Nicola

    1 year ago


    I have watched this every week, as I had brain surgery at the Walton Centre in January 1995, and after watching this it brought it all back to me on how lucky I was was back then. A big Thank You to the Surgeon Paul Eldridge for everything you did for me

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  • SharonMartin

    1 year ago


    excellent show,i had a vp shunt put in in june staff and hospital are amazing.

  • Anne Jolley

    1 year ago

    Anne Jolley

    I watch every week My Husband had brain surgery in July and December 2012 due to having an Abscess he is still recieving IV meds but doing great , the Neuorsurgeons were fantastic at Salford Hospital ,

  • melanie

    1 year ago


    would a ketogenic diet be of any use to Kelsey. I've read numerous reports on the success on ketogenic diets in reducing seizures in epileptic patients. It was also featured in channel fours programme "The food hospital" and it worked really well for a young boy.

  • jJoanne Thexton

    1 year ago

    jJoanne Thexton

    To Jimmy`s parents..I really hope Jimmy continues to make really good progress..Thankyou for the support you both gave to our family when Ben was ill...It was a very surreal situation to be in. Sitting in that waiting room, chatting to you both and you understanding the situation we were in, regerding induced coma and a closed head injury...God bless you both and your lovely kids Jo..(Bens mum) xxxxx

  • barbara elmore

    1 year ago

    barbara elmore

    Please can we get these series on a dvd? My daughter had a TBI through a snowboarding accident 2 years ago and she has been very lucky to get back to almost her 'normal' self; she is working back in Switzerland for the season and I would like to have the complete series as now she is very interested and wants to turn a negative into a positive; she is a snowboarding (and ski) instructor and wants to eventually become an adaptive snowboard instructor.

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  • Morgwn Trolinger

    1 year ago

    Morgwn Trolinger

    The Walton Centre has an admirable team of consultants and nurses and they try their best to make life better for every patient they see. Mr Eldridge's successful removal of my AVMs has so far given me not just four glorious months without my epilepsy breaking through, but relief to my husband and other family members, as they can start to not worry constantly about my seizures. For that alone, I can't thank Mr Eldridge and his team, along with my neurologist, enough. I feel that this programme gives the Walton Centre the flattery they deserve.


    1 year ago


    My son was born with spinerbiffida when he was about 6 months old Paul May an his team operated on him ,they saved my sons life .he is now 17 an training to be a solicitor .Thank you Paul may and yes he is a red nose

  • Charlotte B Northants

    1 year ago

    Charlotte B Northants

    Channel 5 ..... PLEASE can we have an update on lovely Joy? What a super girl with a truly supportive and beautiful family. I was so upset to hear at the end of episode 1 that her tumor was malignant and I can't stop wondering how she's doing bless her? Please update!

  • Amirul Islam

    1 year ago

    Amirul Islam

    Surgeons and Doctors go down in my book as the most amazing people on earth. They never stop striving to find ways on beating diseases and saving lives. I hope everyone who has had an operation here continue to recover and for those who are awaiting surgery to have a safe and successful surgery. Peace to you all.

  • carol ledner

    1 year ago

    carol ledner

    Good Luck to Joy and Kelsley on your recovery, what a fantastic team at the Hospital, also sending good wishe's to the Familys.....

  • Michael Dennison

    1 year ago

    Michael Dennison

    The Walton Center is where lives are saved & mine is one of them !!! Nearly 9 years ago I had a brain aneurysm ,and a coiling operation conducted by Dr Hans Nasser & his marvelous team.I was a lucky man & never a day passes without thinking about my time at the Walton Centre. THANKYOU ALL !!!!

  • David Byrne.

    1 year ago

    David Byrne.

    What a credit to the NHS The Walton Centre is. Thank you all for helping two seriously ill friends of mine back to full health work and active happy lives. Keep up the good work.

  • Della

    1 year ago


    Amazing place, very emotional. My thoughts go out to all the families filmed and those who wern't screened but are suffering.

  • Mo

    1 year ago


    My 18 year old daughter is due to have surgery similar to Kelsey's in the next month or so. Have been so worried but this programme has helped me to realise just how amazing these surgeons and their teams really are and I am definiely feeling more positive. It is still very scary though.

  • mick southamptontion

    1 year ago

    mick southamptontion

    i had surgery for severe epilepsy 2004.very lucky nearly cured.4fits 8 years there is hope keep believing.thanks to the team at southampton.brilliant programme brought back memeries.

  • Elaine

    1 year ago


    can hardly see through my tears...truly amazing programme. My son is to have surgery next week to hopefully improve his epilepsy at the RVI Newcastle. Scary times ahead I'm sure, but Jo, Kelsey and their families have inspired me with the bravery they have shown...all the luck in the world to them!!!!

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  • theresa travis

    1 year ago

    theresa travis


  • Susan Parsons

    1 year ago

    Susan Parsons

    My mum had a brain tumour removed in 1997 at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, I would like to give some hope to Joy and her family as although she was diagnosed with a malignant tumour she had 10 years quality of life. I praise all the surgeons who are saving peoples lives. Its not until you go behind those doors that you realise how precious life is and what the surgeons do.

  • james hanna

    1 year ago

    james hanna

    i will never forget how brilliant mr.eldridge and his team were with me after i had brain surgery for epilepsy.thank you all for everything you did for all your care

  • Alison

    1 year ago


    I will never forget how these wonderful surgeons and medical staff saved my family member after a road traffic crash. The ongoing wait and emotion was deeply intense and traumatic as my family awaited the outcome. Day after day and night after night. The dedication and unconditional commitment these professionals gave is overwhelming. Usually visitors pay to park - dreadful thing to worry about cost every day at a tragic time. Parking fees were waivered and I was able to come and go at any time knowing I could be there to support family. Amazing programme.

  • faye

    1 year ago


    A very remarkable and special place

  • Karen

    1 year ago


    I had a brain tumour removed late last year at The Atkinson Morley. What a wonderful hospital. I too was very apprehensive about watching this programme but so glad I did. My heart goes out to Joy and her beautiful family. My thoughts are with you. I found it very emotional to watch as I now understand exactly what i went through and fully appreciate all the hard work and dedication of Mr Stapleton and his team even more so. I'm truly grateful to you all.

  • Helen Barber

    1 year ago

    Helen Barber

    I had Deep Brain Stimulation for Dystonia at The Royal Hallamshire Sheffield by Mr. Rowe & his team, it will be 7 years on Sunday with incredible results...I am so very grateful..

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  • Sarah

    1 year ago


    I had a tumour removed last summer. I wasn't sure if I should watch this, but glad I did. Luckily I am ok now (apart from my head hurting when I get tired) and I know I am so lucky to be here. I found the programme very interesting but it also brought back so many emotions and made me realise just what they must have done to me to remove my tumour.

  • lydia

    1 year ago


    both my mum and dad have been in this hospital. my dad had a brain tumour removed but sadly died 6 months later my mum had a brain hemorage.

  • Becka

    1 year ago


    My partner has had a brain tumour removed in September in the same place as joy. It was very emotional to watch her story as it is very similar to what my partner is going through. He is currently having radiotherapy as his tumour is grade 3. My heart goes out to joy and her family and I'm wishing them all the best in the future!!!

  • Rachael

    1 year ago


    My 5 year old son has epilepsy, What an inspirational and beautiful young woman Kelsey is and what a fantastic programme. Her mother shows such courage and patience when I know, as a mother of an epileptic child your heart breaks a million times a day. Keep up the faith, praying that the siezures stop for you. X x x x x

  • Kate Taylor

    1 year ago

    Kate Taylor

    I want to say THANK YOU AGAIN to all of the staff at the Walton Centre. I had a Malignant Tumour removed by Mr Shaw and his team on Friday 13th May 1988 - 25 years this year! I have just moved to Australia but was there when the filming started. Keep your chin up Kate Kelly you are in the best place! The Walton Centre is amazing!!!!

  • jen pinkerton

    1 year ago

    jen pinkerton

    my daughter has just had a decompression for chiari malformation a week ago and just got her home for her 17th birthday but things were just not right and as a mum u just know your child, There was a problem and it didnt work so she has had to be fitted with a shunt yesterday after a week of head pain so just like to say watching this programme was really traumatic and very emotional but has helped me a great deal and we all may have a long road ahead of us but we should know we are all in the best place because we have the best neurosurgeons and doctors in the world. The doctors at the RVI in newcastle have just saved my daughters life and im very thankful to them all and i hope she and everyone else who has had brain surgery makes a fast and healthy recovery x good luck

  • Stella Dyer

    1 year ago

    Stella Dyer

    I was a patient at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol last summer, to have a meningioma the size of a duck's egg removed. I've still got radiotherapy to go, but my surgeon seems positive enough. I salute the bravery of all those featured in this programme. Bless all neurosurgeons and those who work with them, you are truly amazing

  • Eve

    1 year ago


    Thank God for the NHS and those wonderful people who work to save us.

  • Julie

    1 year ago


    Our daughter owes her life to the amazing neuro team at Addenbookes hospital after a traumatic head injury in 2008. We cannot thank them enough for saving her life with the best possible outcome considering the injury. The men and women who pursue this career are an amazing and pioneering bunch. long may they continue to find cures/options/

  • Emma Turner

    1 year ago

    Emma Turner

    Without the Walton Centre I would be without my mum. She had a bleed in her brain from a left occipital AVM in september 2012, she is 53 years young and now has the rest of her life to look forward to with her husband that she married in 2011. Mr Eldridge - words cannot express how grateful I am that there are people as clever and as talented as you in this world our family owes so much to you. THANK YOU.


    1 year ago


    ROBERT PARRY Wife waiting for brain surgery nearly had all the tests at Walton can only admire the brave Kelsey and mum Hope you will start get some benefit of your latest surgery before long x

  • Delysia Field

    1 year ago

    Delysia Field

    What an amazing programme. I myself had surgery at The Walton Centre for an Acoustic Neuroma in 2007 and owe my life to a marvellous team of Surgeons, Doctors, Nurses and Staff. I wish all the patients who have made this programme possible all the best for the future. You are in safe and wonderful hands.

  • Sandra young

    1 year ago

    Sandra young

    What a truly wonderful inspirational programme! Love to Joy, Kelsey and their wonderful families, love and best wishes.

  • John Marks

    1 year ago

    John Marks

    Kelsey, why dont you try a very high fat, low protein, zero carbohydrate diet. In 1999 a university in Philidelphia had a 90% decrease in seizures in about half the trial participants. Read Barry Groves about epilepsy and high fat diets. It seems to work.

  • EileenConlon

    1 year ago


    Joe & Kelsey, thoughts and prayers go out to you both and your families. Wishing you both a speedy recovery . PS Joe keep laughing xoxo

  • Paul

    1 year ago


    I am a brain injury survivor from a TBI in 1967 and have made as much a recovery as possible in the 45 years since. It was a hard road but I commend the bravery of the patients who entered into surgery with their eyes open, something that I, fortunately, never had to do. Very, very brave persons and an example to us all.

  • Cath Holman

    1 year ago

    Cath Holman

    Interesting to see how the surgery has developed since 1970, when I had a lobotomy in London. Good luck to all the patients.

  • gill christie

    1 year ago

    gill christie

    I had surgery on an unruptured anyurism in 2010 at Wesse, my life was saved that day. My ann was clipped so it was the type of surgery on the programme. I am amazed by th skills of the surgeons forever grateful

  • paul larcombe

    1 year ago

    paul larcombe

    I had an optical glioma and tumour on the optic nerve the size of a walnut removed in 91 at Atkinson Morleys in 91 plus another 5 operations after that. Part of tumour is still in my head but it grows very slowley. They were so confident of thier work they said they only want to see me when im ill also was left with double vision I could not watch the whole program it become to much for me..

  • kate eves

    1 year ago

    kate eves

    I am 23 currently awaiting treatment as I suffered a brain heamorrege at 16 weeks pregnant due to an AVM my baby is now 6 months old healthy and happy just need to get me healthy so I can look forward in life with my 2 year old son and my little miracle daughter such an amazing hospital nothingbut amazing things to say and my amazing consultant mr eldridge....amazing xxx

  • Jolene Nailor

    1 year ago

    Jolene Nailor

    My son has similar epilepsy to Kelsey and is 7 years old. Because he doesn't jerk very often through his seizures I have yet to find a bed monitor to know if he is seizing. Can anyone help with this?

  • Kate kelly

    1 year ago

    Kate kelly

    Still overcome by emotion tonight . What amazing People and families . The love and support they had from their families :-) xx the teams at the hospital amazing . My surgery is to take place at the Queen Elizabeth in Birmingham . I so hope the team I have is equally as good to those featured tonight . I know I'm blessed with the surgeon I have.again my thoughts are with the families tonight and those who are about to go through similar journeys. X

  • Andrea

    1 year ago


    This program is amazing !In our family we are very lucky to all be healthy and I hope it stays this way . To all of you who gone through surgeries and bad times ..well done! to all of you who will ..good luck ! You are all very brave and I wish you speedy recovery xxx

  • Jackie Walker

    1 year ago

    Jackie Walker

    bonfire night 2007 I went to bed 12 weeks pregnant. Suffered a brain haemorrage that night due to an AVM and thankfully Mr Brodbelt at the Walton centre was on hand. Saved my life, my unborn childs life and made sure my 16 month old daughter wasn't without her mummy.. Can't thank you enough. My girls are now 4 and 6... Thankyou, thankyou very much xx

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  • Julia Halfpenney

    1 year ago

    Julia Halfpenney

    Jules Had brain surgery at Walton hospital 20yrs ago this year. There hasn`t been a day in my life when I`ve not thought about the op and the fantastic difference it has made to my life. The team at the Walton were the best and they couldn`t of done any more for me.Watching this evenings programme was really interesting asI have been there and know what these people go through .

  • Danielle Swindley

    1 year ago

    Danielle Swindley

    I have had 17 shunt surgeries at Walton in the last three years. I am due there Monday for another checkup as last surgery was about 10weeks ago I cannot praise them enough. Life saving and restoring quality of life, their the best!

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  • Darryl

    1 year ago


    My Dad is currently recovering from brain surgery at the Walton Centre after having a blood clot removed - saving his life.I would like to take this opportunity to thank the surgeons,doctors,nurses & staff at this amazing place.

  • Sharon Hacking

    1 year ago

    Sharon Hacking

    My 26 year old Son was diagnosed with a grade 4 brain tumour 15 months ago. He had a debulking op, combined chemo/radio and a further 10 sessions of chemo. He is starting his own charity called In Between Ears to bring other young adults together with brain tumours. The launch party is on Thursday 31 Jan at Blackburn Rover football club. Please any young adults out there with brain tumour visit his Facebook site In Between Ears and 'like' it. Good luck everyone.

  • bret

    1 year ago


    fantastic programme. the most intelligent people in the world. my thoughts withh all the families and friends affected.

  • Lauren Bluck

    1 year ago

    Lauren Bluck

    I have arnold chiari malformation and I had decompression surgery in the Walton centre in my opinion the best hospital and staff by far I can't thank the surgeons and nurses enough for what they do for me x

  • Charlie Smith

    1 year ago

    Charlie Smith

    I had a tumor removed from my left temporal lobe to reduce my epileptic fits, I had it done at the National Hospital for Neurology in London 19 years ago. I cant thank them enough, my life today is fantastic but the support I received I never feel I said thank you enough.

  • Alan Burke

    1 year ago

    Alan Burke

    Had 2 SAH's. Thank you doesn't seem to do justice to how I feel for the team at Salford Royal Hospital, my family and friends. You all know who you are.

  • Dorothy . North Shields

    1 year ago

    Dorothy . North Shields

    I had a subarachnoid haemorrhage 8 years ago I owe my life to the wonderfull team at Newcastle General Hospital. I will watch also with some emotion , it never leaves you!!

  • Christine

    1 year ago


    My son had a brain AVM so interested to watch,I worked in Fazak hospital next to The Walton Centre until.recently

  • Jenny

    1 year ago


    I am on the watch and wait list with the Walton Centre so am slightly nervous to watch tonights programme but at the same time feel compelled to view it

  • Toby

    1 year ago


    I had a brain tumour removed at the Walton Centre in 2010, so far everything's been fine and no sign of regrowth. I've not been able to watch anything like this before as I've gotten to emotional, but I'll try to watch this and maybe see my surgeon. I really can't say enough good things about The Walton Centre, they saved my life.

  • Bill Simpson

    1 year ago

    Bill Simpson

    I had neuro surgery when I was 22 for a subarachnoid haemorrhage and owe my life to that marvelous team in Sheffield, will certainly watch this with interest, and I suspect with some emotion.

  • Kate kelly

    1 year ago

    Kate kelly

    I myself am awaiting surgery to remove a brain tumour . So will find this programme interesting and very emotional. The people and their families featured r very brave . Shall remember to comment after the programme