A man who almost lost his life after falling seriously ill has begged health bosses to reconsider their decision to transfer A&E facilities from Huddersfield to Calderdale.
Bob Thompson, a 58-year-old businessman, from Lindley Moor Road, Ainley Top, began feeling ill in October last year.
The married father-of-two said: “I had been suffering from severe abdominal pain and my family called an emergency ambulance which took me to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in less than 10 minutes.
“Thank God this hospital was there and I did not have to go any farther. I was examined within minutes of reaching the hospital.
“It was 1am on a Sunday morning. A team was called in and I was taken to the operating theatre for an operation on my twisted hernia and did not know anything else for four days.
“I was brought around in intensive care having undergone an eight-hour operation and, to say the least, felt terrible.
“My abdominal wound was held together with 169 staples."
Bob added: “I had suffered with the anaesthetic due to weighing over 30 stone and I was so glad to have survived it.
“One doctor told me that had I been two hours later they would not have been able to save me.
“The people wanting to make these changes to our A&E arrangements have probably never had life-threatening illness.
“They should hang their heads in shame at what they are proposing.
“It is all down to money, not people’s lives – it stinks.”
Bob added: “I am now fortunate to be back at my business after the great hospital treatment followed by many weeks of care.
“Although I am not fully recovered I am still here and I firmly believe I would not have been had I had to go farther to be treated.”
In January the Examiner reported the bombshell news that a report for health bosses on the future of A&E provision said the preferred option was to keep emergency services open at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax and close the A&E department at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
It says the way hospital services are currently run is not “sustainable”.
The proposal would mean people in Huddersfield could have to travel to Halifax, Wakefield or Barnsley for emergency treatment.
Under the plans HRI would be demolished and replaced with a far smaller hospital for planned care while Calderdale Royal Hospital would be expanded to provide emergency and acute care including paediatrics, coronary care and intensive care.
There has been furious reaction to the proposals with demonstrations numbering thousands of people gathering for rallies in St George’s Square to protest about the plans.