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Brave crash patient Emily is focus of final episode

The eighth and final episode of The Face Doctors filmed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital will air on Really at 9pm on Wednesday (3 July), with the full series available to stream on discovery+.

The moving episode tells the story of 16-year-old Emily who has broken so many bones in her face in a car crash, it is impossible to count them.

Vijay Santhanam 600 x 515
Mr Vijay Santhanam

Consultant oral, maxillofacial and facial plastic surgeon, Mr Vijay Santhanam, who has become a familiar figure to viewers, urgently needs to rebuild her face, but as he tries to piece the fragments together, there is a risk she may lose her sight.

Mr Richard Price in theatre
Mr Richard Price

Mr Richard Price, an experienced plastic surgeon at Addenbrooke’s specialising in skin cancer and facial reconstruction, also makes a return to the programme – and is filmed dealing with another challenge.

Patient Dave is hoping Richard, who until 2010 was the lead plastic surgeon for skin cancer services in Cambridgeshire and until 2021 the lead for head and neck reconstruction at CUH, can find a way to lift the paralysed side of his face and stop him from accidentally spitting and dribbling.

Work on the series started back in April 2023 and resulted in an eight-part documentary following patients with life-changing conditions affecting the face, neck and head – and the clinicians who helped them.

The series has not just been about fixing broken bodies, but restoring identities, mending confidence, and helping patients and families rebuild their lives. There have been touching moments as patients see their new reflections, and as families share their joy.

It was produced by Dragonfly TV, the same award-winning company that shot six series of BBC Two’s ‘Surgeons: At the Edge of Life’, which won wide acclaim and was watched by millions of viewers.

Medical director, Dr Ashley Shaw, said:

As the series draws to a close we want to thank all those patients and clinicians who agreed to be filmed and created such an inspiring and educational insight into work here at Addenbrooke’s.

We hope the documentary brings reassurance to other patients with similar conditions and creates further interest in Addenbrooke’s, which offers such a wide range of career opportunities, clinical and non-clinical.

We would like thank the team from Dragonfly TV for the sensitive handling of a difficult subject, and their professional and understanding interactions with patients and staff throughout the making of this fascinating series.

Dr Ashley Shaw

To learn more about surgeons in the series visit ‘The Face Doctors’ pages. For information about working at CUH visit our careers pages.