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Fascinated viewers hail woman who was dissected on TV in ‘world first’ for her bravery

Ali Condon

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Fascinated viewers hail woman who was dissected on TV in ‘world first’ for her bravery

Warning: This article contains material that some may find distressing

People are blown away by the bravery and kindness of late mum Toni Crews, who donated her body to be dissected on television in a 'world first'.

Channel 4's emotional new documentary My Dead Body aired on Monday night (5 December), and had viewers in tears as they learned that Toni was the first person in the UK to donate her body for public display to help researchers study her rare illness.

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As explained in the documentary, Toni died at the age of 30 in August 2020, after being diagnosed with cancer in her tear gland in 2016.

Before she passed away, the mum agreed to donate her body to science in the hopes of helping other people who might be suffering from the same disease.

As a result, Toni's body was chosen to be dissected on TV as part of the documentary, which has been such a gift for medical professionals and others who might be living with the rare form of cancer.

Professor Claire Smith, head of anatomy at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said: "We have been so privileged to explore the journey of cancer through the incredible donation made by Toni.

Toni's body was dissected on television. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_
Toni's body was dissected on television. Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_

"As part of this documentary, we were able to invite more than 1,000 students, including nurses, paramedics and neuroscientists, who wouldn’t normally get to learn about this one in a million cancer.

"Toni’s gift of body donation doesn’t end with this documentary either; her body will be used to educate our medical students and doctors for years to come."

Viewers who tuned in for the poignant documentary were floored by Toni's inspiring life story and her monumental donation, taking to Twitter to praise the late mum.

"I just watched My Dead Body on Channel 4. What an amazing young woman Toni was. What a gift she left for medical teaching, a legacy for the future understanding of cancer.

"A brave and selfless mother to her children. She will never be forgotten", one viewer wrote.

A second commented: "Watching My Dead Body and it’s so fascinating but honestly, how beautiful and brave was Toni. What a selfless gift she gave in her passing. Cancer is so so cruel. RIP Toni"

Viewers have praised 'inspirational' Toni for donating her body to science. Credit: Twitter
Viewers have praised 'inspirational' Toni for donating her body to science. Credit: Twitter

Paying tribute to Toni, a third tweeted: "Just watched My Dead Body on Channel 4. What an absolutely wonderful and brave thing for a person to do. Toni Crews you are truly inspirational."

And a fourth mused: "Channel 4 My Dead Body is an absolute testament and to science and Toni but also a big reminder of the true value of life."

The team behind the documentary made sure to share all the warmth and kindness that characterised Toni when she was alive, so viewers could get a better ideas of the amazing woman she was.

My Dead Body is still available to watch now on All 4.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@blingkofaneye_ / Channel 4

Topics: Science, TV and Film, UK News, Channel 4, Documentaries, Health

Ali Condon
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