A WINSFORD man who had his life saved three times wants to give thanks to all NHS staff.

As celebrations for the 70th birthday of the NHS took place across the country on July 5, Don Wardle, from Aire Place, wanted to give praise to staff at Leighton Hospital and North Staff Hospital as he would not be alive without them.

He said: “The NHS gets some flack and it is just unbelievable to me. We should be proud of our health service and recognise what each and every one of these hard-working people do day-in day-out.

“I am amazed how people just take it all for granted and do not give any of the doctors and nurses a second thought once they are better. It is thanks to those people that I am here today, and I will be forever grateful.”

The pensioner fell ill in September, and then again in February, when he had an operation for a blocked bowel duct.

This procedure revealed what would later be diagnosed as pancreatic cancer and specialists said if that process had been done a week later he would have died by Christmas.

In 2010, he also suffered a heart attack and briefly died for a few seconds before medics brought him back.

Don said: “These people show the upmost dedication to their work and it is only fair that people take a step back and give them the recognition they deserve.”

The businessman also wanted to commend the staff for their ‘kind-hearted nature’ and how they made sure that the bedside manner for every patient was ‘faultless’.

He added: “It is the little things that make you feel much better during a long stay in hospital. Staff learnt about my likes and dislikes and even started calling me by my nickname – Skippy.

“It is the personal touches that amaze me, considering they must care for thousands of people and still have the time to treat everyone as people and not just numbers on a chart.”

Special mentions were also made to his pharmacy and Willow Wood Surgery, in Crook Lane, who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to help where they can, including Dr Rigby and Dr Price.

Don is planning to hold a charity event next year in honour of the NHS staff who ‘work tirelessly and with faultless dedication’ to show his appreciation.