Emotions ran high after Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) passed away after she asked Adrian ‘Fletch’ Fletcher (Alex Walkinshaw) to write her a do-not-resuscitate order.
Jac told Fletch she didn’t want future medical intervention after a life-or-death operation to remove her brain tumour, led by Elliot Hope (Paul Bradley).
Fletch told her: “I just hate the thought of you giving up.”
And she replied: “Let me tell you about giving up. Letting this thing take control. Wipe out my mind. Leaving me delirious and doubly incontinent – that’s giving up.
“I have never been clearer about anything in my life. Please do this one thing for me.”
Viewers watched as Jac was seen by Sacha Levy (Bob Barrett) ahead of a scan booked by Elliot.
He told her: “You love me really” and a weakened Jac said: “You know I do.” . Her voice went quiet as she suffered a stroke.
As they tried to revive her, Fletch told Sacha, Elliot and Max McGerry (Jo Martin) about Jac’s final wishes: “She said if anything like this happened – I think she knew that something like this was coming and she made up her mind.”
As Sacha and Max got emotional, Elliot said: “It’s Jaq’s decision. We may not like it but we have to respect it.”
Jac donated her heart, lungs, liver and pancreas to “make a difference to a lot of lives.”
At the end of the episode, a voiceover read out the list of individuals who benefitted from her organs including a medical student to a full-time mother of four and heart was donated to Lexy Morrell.
Devastated fans wrote of their sadness at seeing Jac and their beloved Holby City go.
One said: “OMG Holby City what a way to end the final series. Fabulous donor sequence then what the NHS does on a daily basis. Not a dry eye in the house. Jac Naylor final speech #HolbyCity”
Another added: “Jac Naylor is, without doubt, one of the most iconic female characters to ever grace our TV screens.”
Someone else enthused: “A huge thank you to Rosie Marcel for portraying Jac so perfectly, a phenomenal actress and thank you to Holby City for her amazing storylines over the years. We’ll miss you.”
And a fourth tweeted: “An extremely poignant goodbye to Jac Naylor – literally the ‘heart’ of the hospital.”
At the end, Jac also gave a voiceover telling of the importance of the NHS: “It took me a long time to find a place I belonged, somewhere to call home.
“It wasn’t with my mother or the carers she dumped me with. It certainly wasn’t with any man.”
She added: “It was when I first walked into a theatre and breathed in that rarefied air, realising my hands could save lives. I knew then on day one I had found my place in the world. Somewhere I belonged.
“This is what the NHS means to us. Not a badge on a cabinet minister’s lapel. Not a number down the side of the bus.
“It’s a nurse missing her break to sit with a lonely patient. A surgeon grinding out a 15 hour op. The sound of sirens coming to the rescue. Thursday night applause floating across the rooftops.”
As the words ‘Thank you’ and ‘NHS Holby City’ were projected onto the building, Jac ended: “All of us are doing the best we can in impossible circumstances. It’s something to believe in. It’s home.”
Former Holby faces, including Chizzy Akudolu as Mo Effanga, Hugh Quarshie as Ric Griffin and Luke Roberts as Joseph Byrne were included in the show.
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