Published on 25 February 2022
When 18-year-old Leyton Bridgewater set off on his motorbike one summer’s evening, it was just the same as any other journey.
But he ended up crashing into a traffic island, leading to horrific leg injuries that needed specialist surgery at Kings College Hospital in London to repair.
Leyton’s treatment, which started at the William Harvey Hospital, will feature as part of a new Channel 4 documentary, Emergency, due to be broadcast next week. Teams from across the Trust were filmed caring for trauma patients over a two-week period in the summer.
The teenager, from Ramsgate, said: “It’s definitely not something I expected, and it is very weird to see yourself on TV lying in a hospital bed.
“But I decided to go with it and let them film and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
“The medical teams were amazing, particularly the nurses who looked after me, and I’m really grateful to them all for everything they did.”
Leyton crashed in July 2021 after his vision was temporarily blocked by his helmet lifting up – as he went to pull it down he lost control of his motorbike.
He said: “I remember bits and pieces. I tried standing up but my leg was folding the wrong way and I couldn’t. Then I think I just zoned out until the paramedics arrived and gave me gas and air.
“I remember being in the ambulance and they tried to straighten my leg, then I remember arriving at the hospital in Ashford.”
Crews filmed the transfer from the air ambulance, and Leyton’s arrival in the emergency department of the William Harvey Hospital, where medics were waiting for him.
He had a CT scan and x-rays and doctors were concerned about the risk of infection because the bone had broken through the skin of his leg, leaving an open wound. They decided to consult specialists at Kings College Hospital, who agreed to take on the case, and Leyton travelled the 60 miles to London by road ambulance.
Leyton, who also suffered injuries to his arm, said: “I was quite out of it but I remember them telling me the bone had snapped.
“I work in construction so I was worried about work, especially when they said it wasn’t a simple break and it needed surgery.
“But I have been able to go back to work, although I still have some appointments with the physios and at Kings.
“It’s been hard work to get the strength back and it still doesn’t feel perfect but I’m lucky it wasn’t worse.
“I watched a preview of the programme with my parents, who weren’t able to visit that often when I was in London because of the distance, and it was definitely interesting to look back at everything that happened.”
The programme also follows the story of Frazer Jardine, who suffered spinal injuries falling off a cliff in Ramsgate.
Susan Acott, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals, said: “Heartfelt thanks to our patients and their loved ones for courageously sharing their experiences on camera, at what was for many of them, some of the very worst moments of their life.
“I also want to sincerely thank our fantastic, highly skilled teams for allowing cameras to film them 24/7 last summer. This new series brings to the fore their compassion and determination to do their best for each patient and I am immensely proud of them.”
Emergency will be broadcast on Channel 4, starting on Monday, 28 February, from 9-10pm. Episodes 3 and 4, screened on Wednesday and Thursday, will feature Leyton and Frazer.