BBC last night screened World War Two drama 'The Best of Men', written by Lucy Gannon.  " />

'The Best of Men'

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It featured Eddie Marsan, Rob Brydon and Niamh Cusack and tells the inspiring story of Jewish refugee Dr Ludvig Guttman, played by Marsan, who with his wife and children escaped persecution from Nazi Germany in 1939. Internationally regarded as an expert in the treatment of spinal injuries he takes over the newly created spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

In those days such catastrophic injuries were treated conservatively and most of the soldiers who arrived on the ward died within months of suffering the injury, mostly from infections caused by bed sores or bladder disorders.  His methods were first considered unorthodox but he soon had his patients off their backs and into rehabilitation and the story tells of his vision and the creation of the very first 'Parallel Olympic Games', which became the Paralympics.

It is awful to think of how many men died from spinal injuries in those darkest of days compared with those who today live long, happy and fulfilling lives.

I was touched to read the comments of disabled actor David Proud, who played the role of injured soldier Jeremy.  Talking about Eddie Marsan in his blog he says: "His speech about 'I will not shield you from the realities of life' made me cry when we filmed it and makes me cry when I watch it. That's all disabled people want, it's all I have ever wanted, the chance to face the same struggles as everyone else, to be equal, to be The Best Of Men."

So true.

Its on the iPlayer.  Don't miss it.

Grant Evatt

Associate -  Personal Injury team

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