Still at Holby recovering from his stabbing, AAU ward manager Adrian 'Fletch' Fletcher develops a mystery paralysis and starts fearing the worst, reveals Alex Walkinshaw
As Fletch is gripped by a mystery paralysis in Tuesday’s Holby, he’s terrified he might die. But best friend, Raf, is determined not to let that happen, says Alex Walkinshaw.
Poor Fletch, as if he hasn’t been through enough in his life, he recently got stabbed by a patient! How can a man who tries so hard to do the right thing get knocked down so much?
“Well, it’s more interesting for a nice stand-up, easy-going bloke who’s fairly optimistic, who has a sense of humour and a decent outlook on life to keep being given a kick in the teeth every so often. It is hard, but it shows good strength of character every time he has to pick himself up again.”
Fighting for life: It was touch and go for Fletch after he was stabbed by a patient
When you read in the script about the stabbing, did you initially think: ‘Oh no, not more drama for Fletch’?
“I just think that sometimes, in life, bad stuff does happen to nice people. Some people go through their lives and they just seem to have nothing but bad luck and then all of a sudden they turn a corner and something good is there. This really is the longest corner in the world, mind you!”
Fletch has only ever wanted to earn an honest living to provide for his four kids. How important are they to him?
“Fletch’s kids are his happy place, they’re absolutely everything to him. So when he’s down, sick, hurt or struggling, it’s his kids that give him more determination to do things. Fletch doesn’t always make the best decisions for his kids – but he makes them from a good place.”
Fletch has had a lot of support from colleague Raf (Joe McFadden), who invited them all to come and live with him. How has Raf and Fletch’s friendship developed?
“Raf and Fletch are the best of friends; Fletch has brought out Raf’s fun side, while Raf’s made Fletch grow up a bit. Raf’s really given Fletch support and taken a lot of weight off his shoulders by opening his house to him and his kids. It’s not a conventional family unit, but it suits them both.”
Brotherly love: Raf (Joe McFadden) and Fletch have become good friends in recent months
In Tuesday’s episode, Fletch is still recovering at Holby from the stabbing when his condition takes a turn for the worse and he can’t feel his legs and feet. Fortunately, Raf makes it his mission to diagnose what’s wrong…
“This is about two people that really are best mates and will do anything for each other. If the shoe was on the other foot, Fletch would do whatever he could within his power to make sure Raf was all right and I think that’s just the feeling Raf has towards Fletch to do the same. So Raf wants to do everything he can to save him.”
Just when he thought he was on the mend, Fletch panics when he can’t feel his legs…
Raf struggles to work out what’s causing Fletch’s paralysis, so he and trauma surgeon Bernie Wolfe perform a lumbar puncture on Fletch. And when Fletch doesn’t feel the needle go in, he’s terrified! In that moment, what’s going through his mind?
“Fletch is thinking: ‘Why’s this happening to me, when am I going to catch a lucky break?’ Then he starts panicking that things could go horribly wrong – and that he could actually die, leaving his kids with nobody.”
Raf urges Fletch to remain optimistic but, fearing it really could be ‘The End’, Fletch then makes a heart-breaking plea to Raf doesn’t he?
“He does. Fletch asks Raf if he’ll look after his kids if anything happens to him. It’s an emotional moment and lovely that two ‘blokey’ men can be that close and honest with each other. Raf wholeheartedly accepts – but he resolves to make Fletch better.”
And does he?
“Well, Raf does eventually manage to work out what’s wrong with Fletch but, as he and Bernie go to treat him, it nearly kills him!”
Terrified he’s going to die, a tearful Fletch asks Raf if he’ll look after his four kids
So Fletch isn’t out of the woods yet then?
“No, not at all. Here we’re seeing Fletch both emotionally and physically vulnerable and in a situation that’s beyond his control. This time, he can’t just pick himself up, brush himself off or tell a joke. This is serious.”
Holby City continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC1.