Car crash cancer patient ‘indebted’ to rescuers

Nigel Hammett said he is 'indebted' to all those who helped him.

Nigel Hammett said he is 'indebted' to all those who helped him. - Credit: Archant

Cancer sufferer thanks everyone who rushed to his aid when his car flipped over last weekend causing him to fracture a vertebra.

A MAN undergoing cancer treatment who broke his back in a collision last Sunday has reached out to thank those who helped him.

Nigel Hammett, 54, was travelling home from Plymouth last weekend along the A388 when his Peugeot 306 hit a tree and flipped over at Milton Damerel.

The father of two, who is undertaking chemotherapy, was cut from the written-off car by fire fighters and taken to hospital.

He was later diagnosed with a fractured vertebra, but despite the pain of his injury the keen fundraiser is determined to continue awareness for cancer charities.

Mr Hammett contacted the Gazette to thank those who had come to his aid the afternoon of the collision, but had never had a chance to thank in person.

He said: “You hear all these bad things about people, but my faith in human nature was restored that day with so many people showing me kindness.

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“Two ladies stayed with me until the first response paramedic arrived, reassuring me and making sure I was okay.

“Another lady drove back to her house to fetch me blankets because it was so cold, and two men went either side of the road to divert the traffic.

“One person also scoured the area and found my wallet and spare keys which had flown out of the car when the windscreen had smashed.

“It just shows how one random act of kindness can change a dreadful experience for the better.”

He also thanked the police, fire and ambulance service who had dealt with his situation so professionally and put him at ease.

“You’re scared to death and all you need is someone to be reassuring; the emergency services were brilliant and kept me calm,” he said.

“I’m in a lot of pain now and I think this is an injury that will probably be with me for life, but I don’t want to let it stop me.”

Mr Hammett was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2008 and was days from getting the all clear when he found out it had returned last year.

Last year, the Gazette reported how he had taken part in the ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ campaign and raised more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

“I consider myself very fortunate, things could very easily be so much worse,” said Mr Hammett.

“I want to thank everyone, to whom I am indebted, for the time it took for them to care.”

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