Gary Doggett, a popular local businessman, has lost one leg and is in danger of losing the other, after he was crushed between a car and the back of his van by an alleged drunk driver last month.
Married to Carol, Gary, aged 55, from Blue Lagoon in Orihuela Costa, was unloading tools and glass panels from the back of his van on La Torre Golf Resort, when he was hit from behind by the vehicle. The driver, a Spanish National, was arrested by the Guardia Civil at the scene.
At the time of the accident Gary, who has been installing glass curtains and windows on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida, through his company Cristalglide since 2007, was working at a property on the golf resort with his son Jak and an employee Stewart, when he was hit by the vehicle, later also found to be uninsured.
He was rushed into x-ray where they found that he had air in his left lung, upper body injuries, including fractured ribs, and a broken scapula! He then had an emergency
drain inserted into his lung!
After 13 days, he was transferred to a Valencia Hospital, where he is currently receiving reconstructive surgery on his left leg.
Now, over a month after the accident, multiple scans, xrays and 8 surgeries later, surgeons have just realigned his foot and tibia, initially delayed due to a serious infection within the leg.
During the latest surgery, significant damage was also found to the knee, due to 3 ruptured ligaments, meaning that total reconstruction of the knee is now also required, along with surgery to the ankle, which will be carried out at a layer date.
When I spoke to Gary from his hospital bed, he was remarkably buoyant, and particularly complimentary about the medical and other support he has received since the accident, almost 6 weeks ago. He also told me that it would likely be 12 to 18 months before experts
will even consider fitting him with a prosthetic leg, after which there will be intensive physiotherapy as he learns how to use it.
He will also need to have many more surgeries within the intervening months, including a number of skin grafts on both his stump and left leg.
Gary has now been forced to close down his Glass Curtains Business, with Jak and Stewart currently both out of work, all because of a reckless, uninsured drunk driver!
The road to recovery will be long and tough for Gary, not only as a result of his health, but also because of the many financial worries that will undoubtedly lie ahead.
His home will need major alterations before he can even think of returning home, he will need a plethora of medical equipment and there will almost certainly be extensive lawyer’s fees as he seeks compensation for his injuries and the loss of his business.
But even now Gary is already pondering his options as he enters the next chapter of his life. “I just want this healing process to be over with so I can get back home, being with my family and friends and doing the things I want to do,” he said.
Although both Jak and Stewart have since been interviewed by the police, the Guardia has still been unable to speak to Gary and are unlikely to do so until he returns home, which will most certainly be several weeks. However Social Services have been in touch, as
have many of his former military colleagues and The Royal British Legion.
Daughter Chloe has also set up a gofundme page with a target of 45,000 euros of which over 24k has so far been achieved.
In addition, there are currently three community fundraising events being planned for the coming days.
The first is at 7pm on this coming Thursday at Hawks Fitness & MMA in Villamartin, where ‘Strictly’s’ Vincent Simone, together with Berta Hawkins, invite you to learn how to Tango. Then on Sunday 13 August, de barra’s Irish Bar, in conjunction with Sliders Bar and Grill, will be holding an afternoon of music starting at 1.30pm.
The event will be hosted by Stevie Spit MBE and will feature artistes from across the area who are all providing their support free of charge. There will also be a Grand Raffle, toward which the response has already been enormous, with an overwhelming number of donations, pledges and prizes received.
The two bars are also organising a Golf Day on 2 September, which will be followed by entertainment at each of the respective venues.
The Tango lesson with Vincent and Berta will cost 15 euro per person. Just turn up prior to the 7pm start time.
Information for the golf day is at 0034 711 062 229, and for the fundraiser on Sunday, from Audrey at de barra’s, while the link to the gofundme page is:
Please, either support the events shown above, or give whatever you can to the gofundme page to help with the cost of Gary’s long recovery.