"Muchas Gracias To You For Helping Save My Life". Spanish Lorry Driver Says Thank You For Help After Crash

A deed, which cost nothing - other than a bit time of time and interest in the misfortune of others - resulted in the biggest local press coverage that Castle Comfort Stairlifts have ever been involved in their history.

It began when Managing Director and founder of the chairlift company, Keith Simpson heard on a BBC Radio Stoke breaking news headline that a Spanish registered lorry had overturned on the M6 and caused traffic mayhem - the motorway was closed for hours.

Keith, who runs the stairlift offices in Madrid and having been closely connected with Spain for nearly three decades (and speaks the language like a native) thought he might help. Jose Perez from Murcia had got his Preston-bound lorry full of asparagus mangled up with a dozen other vehicles. No one was killed, miraculously, but Jose was the worse off by far, so he was whipped off to intensive care at the University Hospital for emergency surgery.

Keith, guessing the poor guy wouldn't speak a word of English waited to meet him when he came round from general anaesthetic. Jose was weak but delighted that a stranger who knew his language had been bothered about him.

The unfortunate trucker took advantage straight away by persuading the doctors, with Keith translating, to withdraw the morphine that had been administered. He preferred to suffer the pain than take the drug!

Then, the entire necessary liaison with Jose's family, friends and employer was sorted out; a Spanish newspaper downloaded off the web was delivered to him daily during his time in hospital. The police took no action against the foreign driver or his company (as all papers were in order) and to this day Jose is still telling his friends at home that this was because Keith's brother is a local policeman... a claim strongly denied by the Castle Comfort chief!

The Sentinel covered the whole event with several articles during the next few days, including an emotional meeting with Longton firemen who cut Jose out of the wreckage. The Spaniard insisted that Keith found these fantasticos' guys, pictured on the left, and ensured they came to the ward to receive the bottle of Spanish wine that was waiting for them! Jose's appreciation of all concerned including the doctors and nurses was well documented in the press.

After the stairlift company chief drove Jose to Manchester airport to catch his flight home (his lorry was in no fit state to be driven back) a colleague of the Andalucian fruit & veg delivery turned up at Castle Comfort Stairlifts' heads office at Newcastle under Lyme with a load of the Freshest Strawberries Imaginable!

The staff were on them for weeks.

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