Walney TT ace in heart op after collapse
Last updated at 14:50, Friday, 15 June 2012
IT should have been his 50th appearance in TT week – but the day Les Trotter was due to sail to the Isle of Man, he was on his way to hospital in Blackpool.
The racing motorcyclist, of Dominion Street, Walney, had made entries in the 250, 350 and 500cc races. But he collapsed in The Forum in Barrow when going for a coffee and was taken into Furness General Hospital.
“The people who were with me thought it was a heart attack,” said Mr Trotter, 69.
“A problem was that the friend who rang for the ambulance had difficulty getting control in Carlisle to understand just where The Forum or 28 Duke Street was. They seemed to think it was some kind of nightclub.
“And the worrying thing was, because they were out on other calls, it was 42 minutes before the ambulance arrived.
“I felt so ill that I thought if I closed my eyes I would die.
“I had always thought that the ambulance was one of the emergency services but I discovered that they are what is called the ‘essential service’ and not on the same quality of pensions schemes as police and firemen.
“The hospital’s A&E department was chocker with people and I had to wait but you can’t fault the people on the wards.
“I would pay them £1,000 a week as they were even asked to work through their breaks.
“You can’t fault the nursing staff, it is the system that needs shaking up.”
Mr Trotter’s problem turned out to be an angina attack but an angiogram test showed he needed a quadruple heart bypass and so the winner of the 1978 Senior Manx Grand Prix race was moved to Blackpool for his operation.
A cellulitis leg infection has hampered his recovery but he is now on the mend at his home on Walney and hoping to do scrutineering and marshalling duties at the Manx GP later in the year. Mr Trotter said: “I have had phone calls, letters, cards and emails from lots and lots of people and I want to thank them all.
“I can’t believe the number of well-wishers.
“People just rally round with support, like Martin Crooks’ wife Lynne who helped my wife D’reen get things sorted out so she could stay in Blackpool. The annoying thing was that my bikes had been well prepared for the races and were in tip top condition – pity I wasn’t.
“But Barrow was represented in the races in style by Dan Stewart. He has to be congratulated on three top-ten finished and it was great that he won the Privateers Championship.
“He was up against the big boys in the races with millions spent on their bikes’ preparation and proved he was the best of those with very limited sponsorship.”
First published at 13:58, Friday, 15 June 2012
Published by http://www.walneylocal.co.uk
Have your say
I fully understand what you mean about the difficulties which arise when these emergency calls go out of the area. I was in an accident on what we know locally as "The Coastroad" but the person who took the call had no idea where this was as it is not a recognised address and it took about about ten minutes to explain where we were in relation to Barrow.This cutting back on costs is going to cost someones life and it is all wrong.I don't know Les Trotter but wish you a speedy recovery. It must have been very frightening not being able to get help.