Doncaster war veteran demands action over adaptations

Eric Baker, feels like a prisoner in his own home. Picture: Marie Caley
Eric Baker, feels like a prisoner in his own home. Picture: Marie Caley
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A former paratrooper who stubbed his toe on his bed has been forced to have his leg amputated after contracting gangrene.

Eric Baker, who survived the Falklands conflict, says he feels like a ‘caged animal’ in his own home as he waits for special adaptations to be made to his property.

The 67-year-old, who fought in the Battle of Goose Green, was prescribed antibiotics to treat an infection after visiting his GP 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 ten weeks, and then 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 his wheelchair.

But he is still waiting, leaving him unable to leave his bungalow with only his Yorkshire terrier Suzi for company.

He said: “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.”

Following The Star’s intervention, Pat Higgs, Doncaster Council’s assistant director of adults said Mr Baker’s case was now an ‘urgent priority’.