Holby City fans were left stunned this evening, when a woman who’d been badly beaten and left for dead outside the hospital turned out to be HCA Adele Effanga. With the news sending shockwaves through the hospital, no one was more devastated than her sister, surgeon, Mo Effanga. With Adele’s life now hanging in the balance, Mo struggles to cope, as actress Chizzy Akudolu reveals…
How does Mo feel when she realises it’s her sister Adele (Petra Letang) who’s been attacked?
“At first, Mo’s devastated and then she gets a little bit angry – she can’t begin to fathom who would want to attack her. Adele is one of the most important people in Mo’s life – so this incident really rocks her world. This is her kid sister, maybe not 100 per cent by blood, but their bond is very strong. Mo loves Adele, so this attack throws Mo into all sorts of chaos.”
It seems very touch and go for Adele following her attack. How would Mo feel if she lost her?
“I think it would break her – I don’t think she’d recover. This is almost like part of Mo’s own heart that’s lying there being ventilated. Adel’’s always stood by Mo, she knows Mo inside out; her strengths and her weaknesses. Adele cuts through the bull**** and seems to be her voice of reason. Mo needs Adele in her life, definitely.”
In next week’s episode, Adele’s still on life support following emergency surgery. Does Mo want to be the one to look after her?
“Oh, absolutely! The fact Mo is a surgeon and, because of the family connection, can’t be the one to help her, it makes her feel quite, well, impotent.”
Upset, Mo turns to dad Clifford (Geff Francis), with whom she was recently reunited, for support. Is he someone she can depend on?
“Hell, no! Clifford’s everything Mo wanted in a dad – he’s a bit of a Jack-the-lad, who’s friendly with everybody – but he turns out to be the worst dad possible. He’s well meaning but, oh dear, he’s a wrong’n.”
It looks like the criminals Clifford and AAU nurse Fletch are involved with were responsibly for the attack on Adele, which Mo’s unaware of. How does Mo feel when Clifford fails to be there for her in her hour of need?
“At first, Clifford’s giving Mo a lot of attention but, when she really needs him, she realises that maybe he’s not quite as attentive as she thought and can’t quite understand why. She has absolutely no idea about the full extent of why he’s not there for her!”
While worrying about Adele, Mo tries to get on with her day job of treating patients – but is she able to focus?
“She’s able to focus to a certain extent. She’s not as warm and bubbly as she usually is with patients and she’s a bit sharp with Ollie and Zosia but she just wants to get on with things and she doesn’t want anybody mollycoddling her. She probably shouldn’t be at work but, of course, she doesn’t just want to sit at home thinking about Adele.”
Understandably, Mo does struggle not to intervene in Adele’s care. How does Mo lock horns with neurosurgeon Guy Self (John Michie)?
“Mo’s worried about Adele’s heart rate and wants to do a heart scan but Guy is adamant that they need to operate on Adele’s brain first. It’s a heart-over-head dilemma, which the pair has clashed over before and, once again, the head wins.”
The brain surgery goes well but then Adele’s rushed back into theatre with a bleed around her heart. Elliot refuses to let Mo assist in surgery – but what prompts Mo to feel she has to step in?
“Mo can’t just stand by and watch because there’s now a real chance Adele could die. Mo knows she’s not allowed to perform the op but thinks that, if she gets into trouble, she’ll happily face the consequences later. Right now, she just wants to be the one to save the day!”
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.