TERMINALLY-ill cancer patient Colin Day was left trapped in a closed-off car park at Cheltenham General Hospital for 40 minutes – while the parking attendant was on his lunch break.
The 69-year-old, who was told earlier this month that he has little time to live, had travelled with his wife Jaki from their home in Cinderford to undergo a course of radiotherapy treatment.
But when they tried to leave the hospital’s grounds last Thursday afternoon, they discovered they had entered a staff car park and the barriers would not open.
After asking the parking attendant there to raise the barriers, they were told they would have to wait.
Appalled Jaki, 67, said: “I told the two gentlemen in the parking booth that my husband had just had radiotherapy and that it was important that I got him home as soon as possible to rest.
“I could see that one of the men was eating his lunch and the other told me that he couldn’t help because he was on his own and that we would have to wait.
“I pleaded with him but he said that he couldn’t help. I turned around and went back to the car where I turned up the heating and we waited for 40 minutes.”
The hospital’s car park is run by independent contractor Vinci Park UK.
A spokeswoman for Vinci Park UK said: “On January 23 a member of the public accidentally parked in a clearly signposted staff car park and was prevented from leaving by the area’s security measures.
“On establishing it was a genuine error, parking staff raised the barrier and allowed the vehicle to leave.”
Colin was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which develops from protective cells that line the body’s internal organs.
The disease became apparent after he was treated for a lung condition in Bristol four months ago. Jaki, who has cared for her husband since, is preparing for the worst.
“He is dying,” she said.
“We know he isn’t going to be cured and there aren’t many years left for us.
“But I want it to be as easy and as comfortable as possible for him. He deserves more and human kindness and consideration costs absolutely nothing.”