Viewers left ‘heartbroken’ as mother, 82, with Alzheimer’s who spent her youth enjoying ‘glitz and glamour’ as a nightclub manager hobnobbing with ‘politicians and gangsters’ dies of sepsis on 24 Hours in A&E
Viewers of 24 Hours in A&E were left in tears after the series premiere saw an 82-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s die after being hospitalised with sepsis.
Pamela Carrana was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting with a suspected blood infection after she became unresponsive in the south London home she shared with daughter and carer Lisa.
Doctors discovered the infection was the result of a twisted bowel, and Pam – who spent her youth enjoying the ‘glitz and glamour’ of the West End – passed away after seven days in hospital.
Her daughter explained how Pam spent years managing a lavish London nightclub, where she hobnobbed with ‘politicians and gangsters’ before meeting the love of her life in Lisa’s father.
The episode, which aired on Channel 4 last night, left viewers ‘crying their eyes out’ after discovering that Pam had passed away after hearing Lisa’s poignant memories of her mother.
Pamela Carrana, pictured with her husband in the 1960s, spent her youth managing a lavish London nightclub, where she hobnobbed with ‘politicians and gangsters’ before meeting the love of her life in Lisa’s father
Pamela, 82,was rushed to St George’s Hospital in Tooting with a suspected blood infection after she became unresponsive in her south London home in 2020
‘I sat there next to her hospital bed and she held onto my hand so tightly at one point, but I think that was her saying goodbye. I felt it’, said Lisa.
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to share their sadness at Pam’s death, with one writing: ‘I will never understand how people can just sit and watch things like 24 hours in a&e. i’m literally just sat here crying my eyes out.’
’24 Hours in A&E is killing me tonight. Still too raw’, said another.
‘Someone needs to remind me not to watch 24 Hours in A&E. Emotional’, wrote a third.
The episode, which aired on Channel 4 last night, left viewers ‘crying their eyes out’ after discovering that Pam had passed away after hearing Lisa’s poignant memories of her mother
Pam had been ill for a couple of days before she was rushed to hospital in 2020 after Lisa, who cared for her mother, noticed her abdomen had become extremely swollen.
‘My mum had been ill for a couple of days but I stayed up with her that night just as an air of caution, said Lisa.
‘When I woke up her stomach was really swollen. It was alarming, it was massive. She looked like she was 18-months pregnant and my mum was tiny. I was alarmed because she’s so vulnerable, she can’t verbalise how she’s feeling – but there was something seriously wrong’.
‘It crossed my mind that my mum may not come back home, I was really, really worried about her’.
When Pam was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s her daughter Lisa (pictured) moved back to her mother’s south London home to care for her
Pam loved music and dancing, and Lisa says that in the months ahead of her mother’s hospitalisation she was still singing aloud to her daughter.
Sharing memories of her mother, Lisa said: ‘My mum was very, very generous. She was generous with her time, with her love, generous to a fault really. She always had this spirit which everyone gravitated to.
‘I remember sitting on buses or trains, people always came and spoke to my mum. She was born in 1937 in Stockwell. She was always singing, dancing, playing the piano. Always up to something.
‘She was always going up to the West End and looking and embracing it all, she was drawn to the bright lights of central London and the glitz and glam’.
Pam worked in the 1960s as a manageress at the swanky central London Georgian Pussy Club, where she entertained influential figures of the day including politicians and celebrities.
‘In the 1960s London really was swinging, and it was really fun’, she said. ‘I think she ended up being a manageress of a club in the west end called the Georgian Pussy Club.
Pam married her beloved husband in a registry office before giving birth to Lisa at the age of 36, followed by her sister Stella
Stella sadly died of a blood disorder when Lisa was a teenager. The pair are pictured together in their teens
‘There would be a band, there would girls dancing and they served up everyone, the clients were politicians gangsters, anyone influential at the time. They worked hard in the club, they really did. And they partied and enjoyed life.
‘She loved her time there and actually it’s the time she met my dad. My mum thought he was the most good-looking man ever, I think she fell in love with my dad instantly. He was quite a cheeky chappy dark handsome, had a bit of a swagger. He would pick my mum up in his Rover from the club every night.’
The pair were married in a registry office before giving birth to Lisa at the age of 36, followed by her sister Stella, who sadly died of a blood disorder when Lisa was a teenager.
Lisa’s father passed away in 2015, and when Pam was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she moved back to her mother’s south London home to care for her.
‘Living with my mum again just felt the same’, she said. ‘There was no difference really from when I was younger. There was such strong love and respect for each other and i’m so grateful for that time.’
She added: ‘She still made us laugh, she had me and her carers cracking up at times, her one liners. We used to listen to music we had it on full volume because she was a little bit deaf, but she loved it.’
Pictured, Pamela smiling when she recognised Lisa next to her bed while hospitalised for sepsis
When Pam was rushed to the hospital doctors gave her intravenous antibiotics in an attempt to stabilise her condition before being referred to a specialist ward where her condition was monitored.
However after spending a week in hospital, doctors discovered she was suffering with volvulus, and Pam died with Lisa by her side.
‘I actually had a feeling she was going to go a couple of days before because that was my sister’s birthday and I had romanticised this thing in my head she was going to be with my sister on her birthday’, said Lisa.
‘She actually went on on bonfire night so my mum went out with a bang.
‘I gave my mum the best funeral I could for her and we celebrated her life because it was the last thing I could do for my mum.
‘I think my mums legacy lives within everyone she encountered and I think her ability to party definitely lives within all of us. We always enjoy raising a toast to mum, she lived and she knew how to live and I think that is something to be very proud of’.
24 Hours in A&E airs on Channel 4, Tuesday, 9pm