Children's Hospital

Tuesday, 10 August 2010, 7:30PM – 8:00PM on ITV1


In the final episode of Children’s Hospital, 18 year old Zanib Nasim has been admitted with swine flu. For Zanib, this is a potentially life threatening virus as she has cystic fibrosis, a condition which has brought her for treatment at the RMCH since she was six months old. Zanib has to take an incredible 55 medicines every day, but for her “it’s like a routine. I don’t have anything to compare it to, so it’s just my normal life”.

Cystic fibrosis affects the sufferer’s lung function, and today Zanib has just 36% lung capacity, which is a huge worry to her family and the cystic fibrosis team. A normal reading for a CF patient would be approximately 80%. Zanib will need close monitoring and intensive physiotherapy to help her lungs function as she recovers from swine flu.

After two weeks, Zanib is over the worst of the virus and returns to have her lung function tested. After a couple of blows into the machine, she is exhausted ��” and her capacity is still only 46%. It’s crucial that she regains some strength in her lungs. Zanib has had to cope with poor health all her life, and in common with all CF sufferers has a life expectancy of only 40. However, Zanib is determined to beat the odds and is busy revising for her A levels. She says: “My ambition is to go to the University of Manchester and study Pharmacy there. Maybe if I can do this, I can help make better medicines and change someone’s life”. To the CF team, Zanib is an inspiration. “She’s in control of her CF ��” she doesn’t let it control her” they say.

A week later and it’s good news at last for Zanib: her lungs are functioning at 60% and she has beaten swine flu. She is back on track and revising hard. The following week she sits her exams and is offered a place to study Pharmacy at Manchester University. “Hopefully I’ll be coming back to the hospital as a pharmacist ��” not as a patient” she says.

At the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Emergency Department, four week old Harley Pierre is diagnosed with pyloric stenosis: a condition that affects his ability to digest milk; he will need emergency surgery. Two year old Harris is back at the hospital to have his dressings changed after burning his head and arm a week ago; and four year old Luke has a toy pellet stuck up his nose. It’s business as usual at the Children’s Hospital…

Series producer: Tanya Cohen
Executive producer: Mark Downie

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