Channel 4 today announces a moving and pioneering new single documentary, My Dead Body.
Charting the life of Toni Crews, and working alongside Brighton and Sussex Medical School, My Dead Body tells the incredible story of Toni's illness with cancer before and after her death, narrated by her own words.
The first person to choose to volunteer her body for public display in the UK was Toni. This film, which aims to inform viewers on the science of cancer and its progression through the human body, depicts the dissection of Toni's body during a series of educational seminars. This is the first time a named donor's body has been dissected and shown on television.
Diagnosed with a rare cancer of the tear gland in 2016, which lead to her eye being removed, mother of two Toni discovered her cancer was terminal in 2020 and made the decision to continue to raise awareness of the disease – even after death. She not only agreed to donate her body to medical science but also chose to give consent for it to be on public display. She died in August 2020 at the age of 30, and in 2022 Toni became the first public display cadaver in the UK since records began 180 years ago, and the first British cadaver to be seen being dissected in such a way, for almost 200 years.
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. 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."