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Sunday 7th June 2020

Heartbreaking moment A&E staff tenderly hold patient's hand so she won't die alone

They comforted the woman as her life slipped away

Channel 5 documentary series Casualty 24/7 had viewers in tears when it showed NHS staff waiting with a patient to make sure she didn't die alone.

Medical staff at Barnsley Hospital fought to save a 40-year-old woman who was rushed into A&E, where she went into cardiac arrest.

While doctors and nurses desperately tried to resuscitate her, her heart stopped a number of times and the team made the devastating decision to take her off life support.

Read more: 24 Hours in A&E: Teenager rushed in for emergency brain surgery leaves viewers in tears

As the rest of the team left, George Kay, a junior doctor at the hospital, stayed behind with lead nurse Hannah Ryan.

Hannah was then seen stroking the woman's hand as she slowly passed away.

George said afterwards: "I think working in the emergency department, it makes you realise that life is potentially more fragile than we think it is.

"You have to separate yourself from the job you're doing and the decisions you're having to make, because otherwise that's all affecting you. You can't do your job properly. But I guess it must affect us all in some way."

Hannah said: "As a nurse, we're here to give everything we can to these patients. I think that was all that was left for me to give that lady. I wanted to be there as she passed away, which is why I personally stayed with her."

Speaking further, Hannah said it's only when she takes her uniform off at night that "you have to think about what you've gone through that day".

Their touching gesture left viewers in floods of tears.

One said: "How sad that lady had no relatives with her when she passed but at least the doctor and nurse were with her."

As a nurse, we're here to give everything we can to these patients.

Another tweeted: "#Casualty247 the lady that died didn't seem to have any family, it was nice the nurse held her hand as they switched off life support!"

A third wrote: "Thank you Hannah and George for staying with her."

Someone else put: "That's really sad that that lady has died. But how lovely and reassuring to see that a doctor and nurse were there, holding her hand until the end."

"Wouldn't be able to do that job," admitted a fifth, using a crying-face emoji.

Read more: Viewers claim Channel 4 has ruined 24 Hours in A&E with 'ridiculous' and 'idiotic' back stories

Hannah and George are not the only staff at Barnsley Hospital to have won the hearts of viewers.

Last month, fans of the show rushed to Twitter to call for more scenes involving physio therapist Joven.

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