A few months ago we took five members of ITV’s production team to visit the Manchester Royal Infirmary. They were keen to get an idea of how they could make the make-up, set design, graphics and storyline as realistic as possible. After touring the main hospital we also visited the operating theatres, the labs and the wards. We were very lucky to be taken round by Titus Augustine, transplant surgeon (pictured below), who helped provide useful insights into living donation, how both the donor and recipient would look pre and post op and the scars afterwards.
Having already given feedback to the researchers on the storyline and script we know that the story was going to be compressed and slightly unrealistic in terms of timescales involved for testing and transplantation, but generally the production team has been doing their best to reflect the process within the confines of a soap opera.
In a 30 minute, prime-time soap opera you’re unlikely to get more than 2 or 3 minutes per episode to focus on any one of the many storylines and plots at play, so the kidney transplant scenario could only ever be given a broad brush overview of what we all know is a complex, long and emotional subject. It’s understandable that frustrations arise but there is however something we can all do to extend the coverage of the storyline, broaden its impact and more importantly, get the reality of living with kidney disease out to a wider audience.
Share your story
That’s why we’re encouraging our supporters to share their own stories on social media using the hashtag #mykidneystory Don’t forget to also add in #Corrie as well. If you’re keen to share a selfie why not take a #Dialyselfie and tell people what it is like to have dialysis. Whatever your story, now is the time to share it.
Coronation Street has done their job of raising awareness of an often overlooked illness, not to mention the complexities of organ donation, living donors and transplantation to their millions of viewers. Now, each of us has our own story to share to help show people what kidney disease really looks like, and it’s your story that will have far more impact than any dramatisation.
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