By Matt Butler
Mate they’re just ads.
So I watching the telly the other day and ‘24 Hours in A&E’ came on. I hadn’t really seen it before so I thought I’d give it a go, which is a weird choice for me because when it comes to real depictions of blood, broken bones and skin carved open like a turkey on christmas, I’m a big baby. But suffice to say it was pretty interesting and there were a few things that really stuck with me.
The first was about this sweet elderly couple called Martin and Vera. Now Martin was rushed to hospital after having a seizure in his living room and passing out. The thing that worried his wife most was that after tests on tests on tests, they still couldn’t figure out what was causing Martin’s seizures. But of course Vera was there with him every step of the way.
In between the chopping and changing of scenes, Vera told us about her 55 year relationship with Martin; how she ‘thought he was a bit of alright’ when they met, their humble lodgings back when rent was five quid a week and their struggle to have children.
But every set back just seemed so small when she spoke – she spoke with strength and her head held high – because she could overcome any obstacle with Martin.
But then Martin’s heart stopped beating for 10 seconds.
And in true TV fashion, they cut to Lilly’s story.
Lilly is a little girl who came off her scooter and cut half of her eyebrow open (and by open I mean I could practically see what she was thinking). Her nurse Sophie was amazing. She’d been on this shift for ages and still found the energy to be charismatic and funny, in order to make Lilly feel as comfortable a possible, even as the processes were taking far longer than expected.
Their stories were really heart-warming because they just highlighted the resilience of the human spirit. Martin regained consciousness after technically dying for a few seconds and was fitted with a pacemaker. He and Vera and now living out their retirement hassle free. And Lilly strutted out of that ward like a BOSS.
And all of this made me think about what I’m doing. I get to come up with ideas all day. None of it is life or death. Of course, there’s a pressure to be great. We’re all striving for more but with that we can tend to overthink and suck some of the life and energy out of our work. We forget that some of the work that really sticks, is the work that people find fun and entertaining, not necessarily deep and profound. It’s all fun at the end of the day right? After all, they’re just ads.