Kaeden 24 Hours in A&E

Mum of teenage boy with leukaemia admits he begged to be ‘put to sleep’ amid rare side effect of chemo

Life isn't fair

| Updated:

24 Hours in A&E returns for its 31st series, and young boy Kaeden is the first critically ill patient to arrive in Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.

Kaeden’s mum Gemma rushes 16-year-old Kaeden to hospital after he contracts sepsis. He fights for his life as his distraught mother Gemma looks on.

In the episode, aptly titled The Fighter, Gemma describes how Kaeden’s past three years have been a painful battle against childhood sickness, after doctors diagnosed him with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

He arrives in Queen’s Medical Centre, one of the busiest A&E departments in Europe, vomiting, with a dangerously high heart rate, and low blood pressure.

Kaeden 24 Hours in A&E
Poorly Kaeden Wilson appears on 24 Hours in A&E (Credit: Channel 4)

Leukaemia-sufferer Kaeden fights for life on 24 Hours in A&E

The staff suspect sepsis, which can “deteriorate quickly with children”. Sepsis is life threatening, and can be notoriously hard to spot. The consultant admits: “If sepsis is not diagnosed quickly, your mortality rate is very high.”

Gemma tells the camera: “He’s been in hospital a lot of times, but I knew it was very serious this time. I feel helpless. It’s not nice to see. I wish I could take it away from him.

“He means the world to me. I can’t imagine him not being here. He’s my little boy.”

Doctors diagnosed Kaeden with leukaemia in February 2019 – just before his 14th birthday – after he started suffering with aching joints. Gemma reveals: “Hearing your child has cancer, it’s your life crashing.”

Gemma also admits that at no point did Kaeden ever ask if he was going to die. However, their worst times came when Kaeden suffered a rare side effect to his chemotherapy treatment.

Kaeden begged to be ‘put to sleep’

Kaeden developed pancreatitis, and was “out for nine hours”. Wiping away tears, she admits: “It was 50/50 whether he survived. I asked the nurse ‘is he going to survive?’ And she said ‘I don’t know’.”

Gemma admits he begged to be “put to sleep” amid the ordeal, in which his heart was struggling. However, Kaeden eventually woke up after five days, with mum Gemma saying: “He’s a fighter.”

She continues: “He’s had a nightmare three years. If he can deal with what he’s dealt with, he can survive anything. I’m glad he’s still here for me to love.”

Brave Kaeden tells us: “I am extremely unlucky because of everything that’s happened. But extremely lucky that I am still here.”

Mum Gemma watches as son Kaeden battles sepsis
Mum Gemma watches as son Kaeden battles sepsis (Credit: Channel 4)

24 Hours in A&E returns with series 31

The RTS award-winning documentary returns from its new home at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham – one of the busiest A&E departments in Europe.

Kaeden’s mum Gemma rushes her 16-year-old son into Queen’s Medical Center after he develops a fever at home. Doctors suspect sepsis and as they work to find the cause, we hear from his mother Gemma about Kaeden’s struggle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Meanwhile, 63-year-old Paul has come to A&E after partially amputating his thumb at work. Paul shares his experience of growing up and working in the Midlands and going on strike during the Winter of Discontent in the late 70s. We also hear from his wife Eileen about her worries for him on the picket line and how they pulled through together.

Former RAF fighter pilot Steve is also in resus after falling from his motorbike. Doctor’s suspect he has broken his femur.

Read more: 24 Hours in A&E: 60 nurses quit hospital where series is filmed over ‘work stress and low pay’

YouTube video player

Viewers can watch Kaeden’s story on 24 Hours in A&E on Monday, July 10, 2023 at 9pm on Channel 4.

What do you think of 24 Hours in A&E? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor

Related Topics