Tonight at 10 p.m., ABC will present the finale of “Boston Med,” the documentary series from producer Terry Wrong. The episode has been the subject of many reviews over the last few weeks, as it follows the saga of Joseph Helfgot and Paul Maki, and only the second face transplant performed in the U.S.
“That is something that no documentary maker could plan, and would be very bold for somebody to write fictionally,” Wrong tells TVNewser.
“I Never say to people, ‘this is the face transplant episode.’ That immediately conjures up a kind of frightening surgery,” Wrong says. “The episode is really a story of two men, and two families, and the will to live. A story of hope and loss and ultimately, redemption for one of them.”
It was also an unexpected development.
Wrong and his 20-person crew spent four months last year at three Boston hospitals. Still, the odds of actually filming the face transplant was thin. The recipient had been witing years for a donor.
“I knew it was possible, but not necessarily likely that we would get a donor for the face transplant during our time there,” Wrong says.
Interestingly, Wrong’s team were not aware that they had filmed the donor until after the transplant.
It wasn’t until the president of the hospital mentioned that the donor was a heart recipient that they put two and two together.
Life, death and a new beginning, all in one hour… and it is all real.
While the episode may be set at a hospital, it is not a medical series per se. It is a series about people, who just happen to be doctors, nurses and patients.
“It is a tale of mingling identities and mingling lives,” Wrong says. “It is a human drama, it is not a surgery.”