Stevenage woman's serious lung operation to be shown on TV programme

Stevenage's Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30, will go under the knife in this week's Surgeons: At the Edge of Life

Stevenage's Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30, will go under the knife at the Royal Papworth Hospital in this week's Surgeons: At the Edge of Life - Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

A woman from Stevenage will undergo a serious lung operation to be broadcast on BBC Two this week.

Surgeons: At the Edge of Life goes behind the scenes of the operating theatres at the Royal Papworth and Addenbrooke's hospitals, both based at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

In the third episode of series four - which airs tomorrow, November 25 at 9pm - 30-year-old Dannee Vincent-Warren from Stevenage undergoes lung surgery at the Royal Papworth Hospital - the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital, which treats around 50,000 patients each year.

Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30 from Stevenage, and her wife Delia before her lung operation on Surgeons: At the Edge of Life

Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30, and her wife Delia before her lung operation at the Royal Papworth Hospital, which will air on the BBC 2 show Surgeons: At the Edge of Life tomorrow - Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dannee developed breathing problems and a cough early in 2020. Initially thought to be COVID-19, a chest X-ray revealed a rare type of tumour in her bronchus - the airway that leads to the lung.

The blockage had already caused serious infection and Dannee was told that if the tumour was not removed it would threaten her life.

Royal Papworth thoracic surgeon Mr Aman Coonar and his team needed to remove the tumour, part of the airway and the upper lobe of Dannee’s right lung, and were faced with the complex task of reattaching the lung to the remaining airway.

The surgery was filmed for the BBC show on rigged cameras linked to a remote gallery in order to not distract the operating teams and to keep footfall in the theatre to a minimum. When on site, the film crew followed the same strict infection control measures and tests as hospital staff.

Thoracic surgeon Mr Aman Coonar at Royal Papworth Hospital performed lung surgery on 30-year-old Dannee from Stevenage

Thoracic surgeon Mr Aman Coonar and his team at the Royal Papworth Hospital performed complex lung surgery on 30-year-old Dannee from Stevenage on this week's Surgeons: At the Edge of Life - Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Mr Coonar said of the operation, which comes with considerable risk: “We are blessed with a kaleidoscope of great people at Royal Papworth who work as one team to provide excellent, compassionate care to our patients and their families.

“Dannee’s operation is very complex and there are moments when we have to adapt to new challenges, but we are fortunate here in having surgical teams who are world leaders in their fields and that makes us very proud.

“A big thank you to Dannee and her wife Delia for allowing their story to be shared.”

Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30, from Stevenage, said Being filmed for Surgeons: At the Edge of Life was a "positive experience"

Dannee Vincent-Warren, 30, from Stevenage, said Being filmed for Surgeons: At the Edge of Life was a "positive experience to share my story and create awareness about neuroendocrine cancer" - Credit: Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dannee added: “I am very grateful to Mr Coonar and the whole team at Royal Papworth Hospital for taking on my case. Being filmed was a positive experience to share my story and create awareness about neuroendocrine cancer.

“I hope everyone enjoys the programme on Thursday night. I'm so glad I got to document my journey to see how far I've come.”

This series of Surgeons: At the Edge of Life is the second season to be filmed in Cambridge at the Royal Papworth and Addenbrooke’s hospitals.

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