Injured PC’s story struck a chord

OUR friends paid us a visit to Cleethorpes with the lovely forethought of bringing two September issues of the Chad, which after living here for over 40 years still make first class reading with an update of all the local news.

I read with interest of the Nottinghamshire police officer PC Diederik Coetzee who was seriously injured while cycling along Blidworth Lane, near Blidworth. My life and my wife with a young family of four children was changed forever, like PC Coetzee.

I was a police officer on duty attending a road accident directing traffic when a motor vehicle came to the rear of me (30mph) and struck me in the back. I was left unconscious with serious head injuries and body injuries, and was told that only my fitness saved me from death.

I was away from my police duties for over 16 months but never attained a full recovery, being pensioned off the force ‘injured on duty.’ I want to share the following information and experience with PC Coetzee.

I was asked to attend the Northern Police Convalescent Home in Harrogate still suffering with my head injuries. It had every possible treatment or physio that you would require, but my problems were my head injuries. Everybody made me welcome but I still felt inside my shell. As the days progressed and the friendships grew stronger I began to feel more relaxed, and enjoyed the daily banter. My stay lasted three weeks followed by another two weeks the following year.

It was with a worsening back problem that I had to visit the Home (in later years) for physio treatment which was applied twice a day followed by pool exercise and daily gym body exercise. I visited the Home on 14 different occasions. I was registered disabled with my back condition, but never could express the total professionalism of the Home and all its staff.

I was surprised that a recent police reunion certain retired officers were not aware of services and treatment that they could apply for through the Force Welfare and a form signed by your own GP. It is also a great pleasure and experience to meet up with fellow officers from different Force areas and take advantage of the day time outings to the local areas market’s etc.

I hope PC Coetzee makes a full recovery from his injuries and I feel sure his lovely family will play a big role in that, and that my letter and information to your paper could also help him along the long road to recovery.

R. T. Ayre,


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