What Illness Does Eric Knowles Have?
Eric Knowles examines the evolution of the NHS through the lens of his own traumatic childhood experience. Eric was diagnosed with probable leukemia when he was nine years old and spent six weeks in the hospital.
The experience was lonely but not without its benefits, and the toys he was given started a lifelong passion for collecting. Eric recreates this incident by riding in a 1960s ambulance with a retired ambulance driver along the route he would have traveled to the hospital.
Knowles was finally diagnosed with glandular fever rather than leukemia after weeks of testing. Despite being gravely unwell, his family got spared from an illness that would have killed them. Eric talks with oncologist Dr. Margaret Rokicka to figure out how such a blunder occurred.
He also learns that additional advancements have enabled the NHS to cure most children's leukemia cases. He meets with a young patient who is now having treatment at the hospital.
Eric spends a shift with hospital porters Steven Shaw and Andy McHale, recalling his time as a porter at an auction house. It's strenuous physical labor but directing the trolleys that Eric struggles with.
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