August 25, 2002 Article
DERBYSHIRE plumber Charlie Wheelbarrow was HALF A MILLION POUNDS richer last night – thanks to a botched operation which killed his wife.
Judges ordered the bonanza payout after bungling docs gave Mary Wheelbarrow, 67, more than TEN TIMES the recommended dose of anaesthetic during a routine op.
A beaming Charlie said: “ Mary went in on the Wednesday morning to have an ingrowing toenail removed. Apparently, the anaesthetist misread a dial on a new machine or something, and she never regained consciousness.”
He continued: “I was absolutely gobsmacked when the judge awarded me the money. It’s beyond my wildest dreams. This is the best day of my life.”
A delighted Charlie received his winnings from Norbert Dentrissangle, chief administrator of the Derbyshire St Mungo’s Hospital Trust at a special ceremony outside the hospital where his wife perished.
Friends at Charlie’s local pub, the Red Lion were also joining in the celebrations. Landlord Eddie Bremner said: “We’re all absolutely chuffed for him. This couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke. The champagne’s already on ice for the next time he comes in.”
But Charlie is determined that his new found fortune is not going to change his life. “I may be rich, but I’ll still drink in the same old pub with the same old friends. I’m still the same old Charlie underneath,” he laughed.
But he does have plans for some of the money. “I’ll have a nice long holiday, a new car, and move to Florida,” he told us.