For Heart Transplant Day, 5 live is broadcasting audio throughout the day from theatre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
All day Tuesday, audio from the six hour procedure will air in real time, starting in breakfast with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden at 8.40am.
The station will take listeners through the life-saving operation with audio from each stage of the procedure. 5 live stood side by side with the team of surgeons and medical staff, whilst a patient underwent a life-changing 6 hour procedure.
Presenter Chris Warburton met with patients who were waiting for a heart transplant along with their families. One of them was Stephen, a man in his 50s who was urgently in need of a new heart and waiting in hope for a suitable donor to become available. When the call came in that could save his life Stephen was in the operating theatre within a few hours, and 5 live was in there with him.
Chris is back at the Birmingham hospital on 2nd June and will be cueing in the pre-recorded audio into the shows; listeners will hear pre-op audio from the Stephen, his family and the surgeon – then, as Adrian Chiles starts 5 live Daily, the operation will begin. Heart Transplant Day culminates with longer audio in the Afternoon Edition where the procedure will come to an end and 5 live will open the phone lines to get reaction from listeners and reflect on the heart transplant topic.
Controller of 5 live , Jonathan Wall, says: “This is an exciting day for the 5 live team and it is the culmination of months of hard work. When Wire Free Productions brought the idea to us we knew it would be a challenge but the content they produced has been amazing.
“For us to be allowed access into a working operation theatre and bring it to ‘on air’ was incredible. It gave us the opportunity to present listeners with an insight that most rarely have into such a procedure. We hope that the whole radio day will help to create more of an awareness of how vital organ donation is.”
As well as the audio there will be pictures and video being tweeted from 5 live’s twitter account @BBC5live throughout. Phil Williams late show will be playing out highlights from the day from 10:30pm the same day, and a one hour compilation from the Heart Transplant Day will be broadcast on 5 live next week.
The audio was produced by Wire Free Productions, who also provided these photos: