EPISODE 1 – 17 October 2018 – 564,000 viewers and 2.7% market share
On the occasion of World Organ Donation and Transplant Day, W9 broadcasts a special programme set in a hospital in Lyon, one of the largest transplant centres in France. More than 350 transplants are performed there each year. France is among the leading countries in terms of the number of transplants carried out each year, with no less than 5,000 transplants annually. But 500 still people die every year due to lack of a transplant. We follow three patients as they wait for transplants, undergo their operations, and as they take the first steps in their new lives.
Martine, a liver patient with no hope of recovery despite operations performed every three months, finally has the chance to receive a transplant. We follow a young surgeon in his race against the clock to harvest the organ that may save Martine’s life. Private planes and motorcyclists are brought into play to ensure that everything is done as fast as possible to try and save her.
Unlike Martine, Mario, a father with an invasive lung disease, does not have time to prepare for the idea of the transplant. In just a fortnight, his condition deteriorates rapidly. He is put on the list of organ applicants. His life may be saved, but only if a donor dies.
When the wait for a transplant is too long, some like Annie make another choice: donation from a living person. Annie was lucky enough to be compatible with her sister Monique because she had degenerative polycystic fibrosis. We follow the extraordinary adventure of the two sisters. One will be on the road to recovery, while the other will endure anguish and doubts about putting her life in danger to save her sister.
France’s biomedicine agency, surgeons, nurses, and anaesthetists all mobilise to save the lives of their patients. But nothing would be possible without the work of the nurses who act as coordinators. They are the ones who receive the families and collect the authorisations to remove the organs of their deceased loved ones. We follow them in their work, their training, and their daily lives.
EPISODE 2 – 18 October 2019 – 403,000 viewers and 1.9% market share
This episode dives into the captivating world of organ transplantation. Every year, 6,000 transplants are performed in France for the 16,000 patients on the waiting list, but nearly 600 people die for lack of a transplant. Our cameras follow the work of the surgical teams at the Necker Enfants Malades hospital and those at the Foch de Suresnes hospital. The programme closely documents the lives of the care teams and the patients, such as Catherine, 50 years old, who received a lung forty-eight hours after being put on the list of organ recipients. She was the victim of post-operative complications and was in a coma for three weeks.