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Doncaster war veteran has leg amputated after stubbing his toe

Eric Baker, feels like a prisoner in his own home since being made disabled, as the council haven't made any adjustments to his council home, which he struggles to manoeuvre around in his wheelchair. Piture: Marie Caley NDFP Baker MC 1

Eric Baker, feels like a prisoner in his own home since being made disabled, as the council haven't made any adjustments to his council home, which he struggles to manoeuvre around in his wheelchair. Piture: Marie Caley NDFP Baker MC 1

 

A former paratrooper who stubbed his toe on his bed has had his leg amputated after contracting gangrene.

Eric Baker, who survived the Falklands conflict, has now been left like a ‘caged animal’ in his own home as he waits for special adaptions to be made to his property.

The 67-year-old, who fought in the Battle of Goose Green, was prescribed anti-biotics to treat an infection after visting his GP at the Lakeside Practice in Askern.

But less than four weeks later the pain had become so great that he had to be taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary by paramedics.

“As soon as they came in they told me they knew I had gangrene because they could smell it,” said Mr Baker, who used to be able to run a four minute mile.

“I went into hospital and within four days they had amputated my leg to below the knee.”

Medics told the war hero that he had broken the bone between his little toe and his fourth toe, which had caused an infection that led to gangrene.

Mr Baker, who was decorated for his time in the Falklands and his long service in the Army, remained in hospital for 10 weeks, and later returned in May to have a further five inches of his leg above the knee amputated as the gangrene had continued to spread.

During his stay in hospital he was told by Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes that necessary changes would be made to his home in Plantation Close, Askern, to accommodate his disability and the wheelchair he is now reliant on. But he is still waiting for the adaptations four months later leaving Mr Baker unable to leave his bungalow with only his Yorkshire Terrier Suzi for company.

He said: “The things I have seen - young blokes being blown up. I saw one of my friends getting shot in the neck three times.

“I was at Goose Green and worked my way up through the ranks of the Army, and became a colour sergeant, but now I’m trapped. I haven’t been able to leave my house, other than to go to hospital, since January.

“I’ve called department after department who just fob me off, and pass me on to someone else. They haven’t told me what’s going on, and I don’t think they care.”

“They’ve taken measurements but nothing has been done. A fire officer came round to check the place, and told me that if there was a fire I probably wouldn’t make it out alive because I can’t get out of my house.”

“This has made me so depressed, I’ve had to have counselling. I want the council to stand up and accept what they’ve done to me.”

“I just want my life back.”

Mr Baker, who worked as a plant operator after leaving the Army in 1985, is now reliant on help from neighbour Nicola Cheshire and a carer and cleaner who visit once a week, and once a fortnight, respectively.

After the Free Press contacted the council Pat Higgs, it’s assistant director of adults said Mr Baker’s case was now an urgent priority.

He said: “I was extremely concerned to hear about this case, which has been brought to my attention by the Free Press.”

“I have carried out an immediate investigation and we are contacting Mr Baker to offer our sincere apologies.”

Susan Jordan, chief executive of St Leger Homes, added: “We take the safety of our customers very seriously and we are working closely with Doncaster Council to make sure the alterations are carried out at Mr Baker’s home.”

 

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