A WIFE whose husband s life was saved when he was rushed to Papworth Hospital has called for a re-think on the plan to move the hospital to Cambridge. Maurice Wigley, 78, from Brampton, suffered a heart attack on the Sunday, December 21. His wife Maureen,

A WIFE whose husband's life was saved when he was rushed to Papworth Hospital has called for a re-think on the plan to move the hospital to Cambridge.

Maurice Wigley, 78, from Brampton, suffered a heart attack on the Sunday, December 21.

His wife Maureen, 72, told The Hunts Post: "There is a new practice of taking people straight to Papworth instead of taking them to another hospital first for assessment.

"Papworth was the first to do this and the world is watching to see if this is beneficial. We were told that the first hour is of key importance - after that there can be more damage to the heart.

"I phoned the duty doctor and within a very few minutes an ambulance with a paramedic arrived. After a few tests we were on our way to Papworth Hospital where we arrived within an hour of my phone call.

"A surgical team was waiting. Within an hour and a half my husband was in the high dependency unit. On Christmas Eve, he was allowed to come home and by new year, he had walked down to our local shop.

"I was told that the speed with which he was treated prevented damage to the heart. We are hugely grateful to the paramedics and the staff of Hemingford Ward."

She added: "Papworth Hospital is located where it can be reached quickly from many directions, north, south, east and west.

"If we had had to go to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, with all the Cambridge traffic, we would never have arrived within an hour of my phone call to the doctor.

"I appeal to those with influence in these matters, please do not allow Papworth to be moved."

Mr Wigley said he now felt fine and was allowed to walk for 20 minutes a day.

He added: "They whipped me in and gave a procedure straight away. They have inserted a stent in the artery, which apparently will keep me alright for good."

Mr Wigley, a retired RAF officer, e-mailed Songs of Praise television presenter Aled Jones on Christmas Day asking them to thank Papworth Hospital.

He wrote: "Could you please say a big thank you from me to the world famous Papworth Hospital for their wonderful treatment when I took a heart attack last Sunday. Their treatment was first class and I feel very lucky to be living so near to the hospital."

Mr Wigley joined the RAF aged 17, almost exactly 61 years ago, on January 5, 1948 and was station in Brampton and Wyton.

A spokesman for Papworth Hospital said that the hospital was one of a number of specialist centres where heart patients are taken straight in for specialist treatment. The Department of Health wanted this practice to be made available for everyone in Britain.

The spokesman said that when the hospital moved to Cambridge, a moved planned for 2013, a new road would be built from the M11 to improve access to the Cambridge campus.