Great Ormond Street, BBC2 - TV review: There is obvious value in hearing patient stories like these

The Independent | Ellen E. Jones

Nine-year-old Charlie asked: 'Would it make any difference if I had boy or girl lungs?'

The truth is, I've been strenuously avoiding Great Ormond Street, the three-part documentary about seriously ill children that started last week on BBC2.

Aside from it being an obvious downer, it just feels wrong that real human misery of this kind should be sandwiched in the television schedules between such entertainment shows as Holby City and the reality competition Hair. Then came this week's news that the number of people donating organs after death has fallen for the first time in 11 years and the value of hearing patient stories like these once again became apparent.

Lungs, the subject of this week's episode, are considered the most complex organs to transplant. The surgery can save a life, but it also presents its own life-threatening risks, which makes decisions all the more agonising for young patients, their parents and the NHS staff who advise them. Continue reading