Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital - Episode guide

Get the latest information on which stories will feature in upcoming episodes.

2017 Episodes

Episode ten: Home from Home

For some families a visit to the Children’s Hospital is over in a few hours. For others it can be just the first chapter in a life changed forever. This film follows two children at the beginning of what may well be a long relationship with the hospital, along with a remarkable teenager who is coming to the end of life changing treatment.

12-year-old Anaaya has been rushed into the hospital struggling to breathe, suddenly unable to walk and in need of urgent treatment. Devoted mum Nicola has to call upon all her reserves of strength to support her daughter as they are told she has a life-altering condition.

Meanwhile Awais has been brought to the hospital by his mum, complaining of leg pain and a loss of appetite. This isn’t the first visit for the family, Awais has leukaemia and now doctors are concerned the pains may be an indication that the cancer could be spreading.

And five-year-old Skye is brought into hospital in an ambulance after having an epileptic fit at home. With the fits increasing in frequency, and the cause as yet unknown, it’s the beginning of a journey for her mum who is learning to accept that this is a long term condition in need of long term treatment.

And teenager Millie is visiting the hospital with her parents to receive the results from her latest brain scan. After two years of treatment for a brain tumour, the news has huge implications.

Episode nine: Wednesday 4 October 

Growing up is hard enough for healthy kids. For the children and parents in this film, tough life lessons have an added dimension. From a teenager suddenly facing new boundaries in her life, to a toddler showing remarkable courage in the face a major illness, this film follows families determined to push on through, despite the big unknowns ahead.

Rosie has been brought into the hospital with a fever. Two months ago she was diagnosed with leukaemia and since then the family’s world has been turned upside down. Dad, Chris has put normal life on hold to become Rosie’s full time carer and together with mum, Jenny, they do whatever it takes to help this wonderful four-year-old in her fight to get better and start walking again.

Meanwhile 15-year-old Joseph is waiting patiently in the Emergency Department. It’s not his first visit to the unit. Six years ago he was involved in a serious road traffic collision and was airlifted here to receive lifesaving treatment. He still struggles with serious hip pain and with GCSEs looming his extremely determined mum is set on finding out the cause to get him off the painkillers in time for his exams.

And 15-year-old Rebecca is also in the Emergency Department after feeling dizzy on a night out. Tests reveal an unexpected heart problem that could spell a dramatic lifestyle change for sport-obsessed Rebecca and may even require invasive surgery.

And teenager, Ellise is visiting an occupational therapist after suffering severe burns to her arm when she was scalded by a cup of coffee. Her external scars are healing well but inside the accident has severely affected her confidence and, along with mum Kerry, she is now being taught how to use camouflage make-up to help her feel more self-assured. 

2016 episodes

Episode one: Thursday 9 June

In the words of Consultant Dr Ben Stanhope, 'dads need to cry just like anyone else,' and this first film brings us three men with stiff upper lips, while bottom ones begin to wobble.

The episode tells three moving stories of fatherhood as deeply held emotions break cover for the first time; from a football coach jolted by sentiment as his son goes into minor surgery and a father finding his feet in difficult circumstances, to a dad battling an instinctive fear about going under the knife for his son. This film sets the strength of three men against their greatest vulnerabilities.

14-year-old Charlie was born with liver failure and urgently needs a transplant. 52-year-old dad Chris offers himself up as a living donor meaning mum Rachel must watch both men in her life go through high-risk surgery simultaneously. For a family who admit to not normally showing much emotion, it is a day that will lay their courage and frailties bare.

Meanwhile, we meet 12-year-old Josh who is regular at the hospital as he suffers from sickle cell anaemia, with Michael who is bringing him up alone after his mum died a year ago. They are best friends, fond of play fighting in waiting rooms. But there is a conversation they aren’t having and it is affecting Josh’s health.

And 10-year-old Liam is star player in his dad Robert’s under 11-football team. But a reckless tackle lands them both in the Emergency Department with Liam in need of serious stitches. Robert believes in never showing your kids that you’re scared, but can he hold it together as Liam goes under general anaesthetic?   

Episode two: Thursday 16 June

Henry, Gary, Ellie and JoHow do you love your children for who they are while preparing them for a judgemental world? This film follows three families dealing with difference. 

Seventeen-year-old Tijana was born with eyes that are unusually small and has reduced vision. Her mum Olga has brought her up to feel truly confident in her appearance but is now as adulthood approaches, trying to persuade Tijana to have a cosmetic eye fitted to alter how she looks. Tijana doesn’t see the need for it and is more concerned with her quest to find a boyfriend.

First time parents Charlotte and Dan have just had baby Lily who was born with a cleft lip and palate. Against their protective instincts, they are putting her forward for corrective surgery at just six weeks old.

Meanwhile, rock fans 14-year-old Ellie and dad Gary bring their own unique energy to the Emergency Department but Ellie’s mood is volatile as she battles feelings of depression. This is the latest crisis in a long line of challenges for a brave and brilliant teenager and Gary is as deeply proud of his daughter’s courage as he is frustrated by the limits of what he can do to help.

Episode three: Thursday 23 June

Shafak and her daughter EmanThis week’s show explores the 'superhuman qualities' parents are capable of developing when their children need them. It follows four mums and dads who surpass all expectations and see their lives changed forever.

Fifty-five-year-old Rob has swapped life on the road as a long haul trucker for glitter, princess outfits and repeated viewings of Frozen after becoming primary carer of his four-year-old daughter Chelsea. Chelsea has spent more than 200 nights of her life in hospital having been born with a serious kidney disorder. After her transplant last year, Rob is balancing the constant worry for Chelsea’s health with a new sensitive side and happiness he’d never imagined he could have.

Meanwhile, single mum Shafak is bringing up four children by herself including seven-year-old Eman who also has a kidney condition, meaning more than a cupful of water a day could kill her. A natural rebel, Eman is secretly drinking more than her allowance and Shafak must be a loving mother and disciplinarian all at once.

In our Emergency Department, single dad Mark is with his cherub-faced five-year-old daughter Ellesse who is holding aloft a broken thumb following a scooter mishap. Since becoming a single dad Mark holds work and parenting in a fine balance and today was due to be a precious day off. Instead, he is awaiting minor surgery with Ellesse who has no shortage of worried questions about what her operation will entail.

We also meet mum Meriam and her particularly cheerful eight-year-old son Lucas. Lucas is suffering minor chest pains but they are a consequence of a much more serious condition that cannot be treated. Meriam and Lucas’ dad are facing extraordinarily difficult decisions about how much to tell him about his health.

Episode four: Thursday 30 June

One minute bewilderingly grown up and the next a child again, teenagers present parents and doctors alike with a unique challenge. It is said ‘the day we fret about our future is the day we leave our childhood behind’ and this film follows two teenagers making their own life changing decisions about medical treatment while a third is rushed to hospital after some youthful risk taking leaves her with a potentially serious injury.

For 16-year-old Jack, life is about his mates and going to gigs. But he is also a severe epilepsy sufferer, and wants to have pioneering brain surgery to stop his frequent and debilitating fits. But there is a risk that the operation could permanently affect his memory and personality. It’s his choice and for his parents, Allyson and John, it’s the most frightening decision they will never make.

16-year-old Rene has sickle cell anaemia– a debilitating condition that means she has to undergo full blood transfusions every fortnight. The hospital have offered her a stem cell transplant which could potentially cure the condition but is not without risks and means a summer in hospital without her friends. Her mum Ann has to wait and watch Rene take the decision for herself.

13-year-old Evie is rushed to the Emergency Department after an accident on a school mountain bike trip re-awakening her mum Holly’s mothering instincts, while tough-talking 15-year-old Rodi has to have his shoulder reset after a rugby injury and swiftly becomes his mum Elif’s little boy again.

Image of a family featured in episode 5 of inside Birmingham Children's Hospital Episode five: Thursday 7 July

Most parents dream big for their kids, but when your child’s health is in question all that changes. Priorities shift as events threaten to change their futures forever. This film follows parents rapidly adjusting their hopes for the future in the face of potentially life threatening accidents, and another mother refusing to abandon her hopes for a son in urgent need of an organ transplant.

Twelve-year-old Mollie is brought to A&E in an ambulance after being knocked over by a car on her way home from school. Until Mollie’s parents arrive, Dr Kate has to be Mum and Dad as well as treating her injuries.

Nine-year-old Matthew was born with a rare kidney disorder and urgently needs a kidney transplant. With a three in 10,000 chance of finding a suitable live donor, the odds are against Mum, Nicola but that doesn’t diminish her determination.

Twelve-year-old Rebecca arrives by helicopter after falling off her horse. Her Mum and Dad face every parent’s worst nightmare as a significant brain injury threatens to change Rebecca’s life forever.

And two-year-old Dean, the youngest of five boys, is rushed to the Emergency Department by his Mum, after he chokes on his roast dinner.

Episode six: Thursday 14 July

Having children forces people to grow up fast. But for families with children facing major challenges, the learning curve is steeper still. This show follows parents who have started families early in life and are already having to make decisions that will define their children’s future.

Baby Isla has anophthalmia, a rare condition that meant she was born without eyes. Just one in every 10,000 babies in the UK are born with the condition and young parents Tom and Jessica are pulling together to support their baby as she begins the process of having her eye sockets expanded to accommodate prosthetic eyes.

Seven-year-old Codi is having a new cast put on his leg. He was born with club feet and together with mum, Kira, he has made over 120 visits to the hospital in his short life and undergone over 12 procedures.

Eight-week-old Jensen was born with Hunters Syndrome, a rare life-limiting genetic disease. His young parents have made the agonising decision to put him forward for a pioneering new treatment, a stem cell transplant that could potentially cure him, but also carries with it significant risk to his life.

And six-year-old Lily is brought in by dad, Richard, after her little sister slammed her finger in a door.

Episode seven: Tuesday 30 August

Keanu and her mumParenting starts with keeping your children safe and secure, then becomes about learning to let them go. But for the parents and children in this episode, ordinary life is dramatically thrown off course and families must fight to retain a grip on their future. When the stakes are this high, mothering and fathering instincts are intensified.

Nine-year old Evan and his family have just discovered that he is in urgent need of a life-saving kidney transplant. Together they face a long road and long odds of success, until an extraordinary piece of news puts his parents back in the driving seat, forcing them to make an agonising decision.

Teenager Keanu’s life also recently changed dramatically when she was diagnosed with a kidney disorder and heart problems. Her mum has been by her side every step of the way during her treatment but faces a unique challenge when acts of teenage rebellion threaten to seriously undermine Keanu’s health. As she struggles to come to terms with her diagnosis and stick to regular treatment, Keanu must start taking responsibility for her own health, and her mum needs to learn to let her.

Meanwhile a busy Emergency Department is treating five-year-old Lewis who has swallowed several coins while playing shops with his teddies, and fearless nine-year-old Khaldun who may have broken his little finger after a roller skate stunt has gone wrong.

Episode eight: Tuesday 6 September Louie and family

When children come along and a relationship becomes a parenting partnership, couples learn a lot about each other. And when their child’s health is in danger, they learn an awful lot more, sometimes testing even the strongest relationships. This episode follows three children facing very different challenges, and three couples relying on each other as never before.

Accident-prone, four-year-old Finley is putting first time parents Mark and Nicola through their paces in the Emergency Department waiting room. Sitting still is not on his agenda despite an alarming cut on his forehead - just the latest mishap for the toddler as his mum and dad climb the steep learning curve of early parenthood.

Meanwhile we meet Louie, a 10-year-old facing the prospect of major heart surgery with a quiet courage that belies his years. But his parents Kerry and Damien are struggling to hide their own anxieties about the surgery and worry just as much about his response to their fear. This story follows a family’s journey to - and through - surgery with the help of the hospital’s therapy team.

And nine-month-old Leyton is rushed to hospital in grave danger after an accident at home. Their extraordinary love, strength and mutual support for each other is the one thing his parents, Adam and Serena can rely on in a world suddenly full of uncertainties.

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