NHS praise from Cambs hit and run victim “lucky to be alive”

A MAN who was left for dead after being struck by a lorry in a hit-and-run incident on the A1 has praised the emergency services and hospital staff for saving his life – and asked Cambridgeshire police to honour the officers who cared for him at the roadside.

Philip Dicks, 64, was filling his car with petrol from a jerry can in a lay-by on the A1 at Eaton Socon when he was struck by a lorry.

The driver failed to stop but a following lorry did – as well as a car carrying three off-duty policemen – and the badly-injured grandfather was rushed to hospital.

He told The Hunts Post: “If it wasn’t for [Hinchingbrooke] hospital, I wouldn’t be here. Mr Szabolcs Gergely, Mr Arpit Patel and the whole ICU team…if it wasn’t for them I would be dead.”

Mr Dicks, of Sawtry, is soon to be discharged after 11 weeks in hospital. Since the accident, in the early hours of June 14, Mr Dicks has undergone seven operations and spent time in both Addenbrooke’s and Hinchingbrooke hospitals.

He believes our hospitals are under attack and wants to praise the doctors and nurse for the excellent care they provide.

“I’m sick and tired of picking up the newspaper, both local and national, and reading about the nasty things that happen,” he said. “It’s about time somebody fought back. There’s a silent majority that goes through this hospital and get it right. Only a minority complain like mad.”

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first, it was uncertain whether Mr Dicks would survive his injuries.

“The first day they told my wife I had hours,” he said. “The second day Mr Gergely said ‘I don’t know’ and on the third he said ‘We’ve got him.’

“It was the care the nurses gave me that pulled me round. I’m nobody special, I’m just a normal patient. That’s why I get so emotional about it. I just can’t praise them enough. I am so lucky to be alive. Hinchingbrooke should be a centre of excellence. It’s where all the hard work is and where all the resources should be put.”

As well as a fractured pelvis, Mr Dicks was left with a gaping wound to his backside.

“Basically, I don’t have a bum – it was sliced off by the lorry. The surgeon did a fantastic job but if you don’t keep the wounds clean and properly dress them, all that good work would be for nothing.”

After being hit but the lorry, Mr Dicks was pushed into the middle of the A1.

“As luck would have it, following up this lorry was another one who saw me and stopped. God must have been on my side that day because after that lorry were three off-duty policemen in a car. They all jumped out. The first directed traffic, the second called the emergency services and the third policeman got me in the recovery position and held my hand.

“I remember getting into the ambulance and then waking up three weeks later.”

Mr Dicks has not seen those three police officers since the accident but hopes the men will be recognised for their actions.

He said: “I have asked my daughter to e-mail the police and recommend that those policemen get a chief constable’s commendation.”

Mr Dicks is now looking forward to going home to his wife of 42 years, Jackie.

“It’s a matter of getting a care package together because I can only just walk – I’m learning to walk again.

“I don’t know how my wife has coped while I have been in hospital. She finishes work, comes here to see me then goes home to pack because we are moving house. I don’t understand how she does it.”

He also had a message for the Department of Health.

“I want the NHS to put their money here [Hinchingbrooke Hospital]. All the money goes to grand Addenbrooke’s-type hospitals, all their ‘centres of expertise’, which is fine and dandy. But 70 per cent of what gets you better is how you are looked after.

“It’s not the surgeons or doctors, as important as they are, it’s the nurses.”