Desperate bid for F1 driver to visit grandfather in coma

Lewis Hamilton, left, at Goodwood's Festival of Speed in 2014. Picture by Malcolm Wells
Lewis Hamilton, left, at Goodwood's Festival of Speed in 2014. Picture by Malcolm Wells
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An ex-soldier is appealing for help to try and persuade a Formula One driver to visit his gravely-ill grandfather in hospital.

We are publishing this appeal on behalf of our sister paper the Hastings Observer, in the hope that one of the many F1 drivers who visit Goodwood may see it and be moved to get in touch.

Ricky Hodges promised to take his grandfather Dave Crowter to F1 after Ricky left the Coldstream Guards three-and-a-half years ago.

The 28-year-old set up Sentry Scaffolding in Hastings 18 months ago and is now in a position to be able to afford the trip for the avid Formula One fan.

But at the weekend tragedy struck when Mr Crowter collapsed on the bowls green in Bexhill.

Ricky said: “He plays bowls with his team and he just keeled over on the bowls green in agony.

“They called an ambulance and managed to get him into hospital.

“But he’s in a really bad way at the moment.”

Mr Crowter, who lives in Bexhill, had suffered a triple aneurysm in his stomach, causing him to lose ten litres of blood.

Emergency surgery managed to stop the bleeding, but Mr Crowter remains in a medically-induced coma in the intensive care unit in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton.

If Mr Crowter pulls through, it is likely he may have to have both his legs amputated.

Now Ricky is trying to persuade a Formula One driver to visit his grandfather in ICU and hopes it could even help the 75-year-old’s recovery.

Ricky, who lives in Etchingham Drive, in Hastings, said: “I tried to phone a few Formula One teams to see if anyone can come and visit him, but to no end.

“I have rung up Silverstone as well, but no one has been able to help.

“I said I did not care how much it costs.”

He added: “He’s in a coma, but I know they can hear, so it may spur him on.

“I do not want it to be in vain, for nothing.

“If I could just get someone there for him.”

Anyone who can help Ricky is asked to contact him urgently on 07784 498449.

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