War veteran James Morris was admitted into hospital with a broken leg in 1962, but never went home after suffering a cardiac arrest on the operating table — an incident that left him in a vegetative state.
News men reports that the United Kingdom’s longest serving patient has died after spending 54 years at the same hospital.
James, who could only utter three words, died April aged 75 and is thought to have spent the longest time in a single hospital across the entire NHS.
His brother Karl Morris, 62, was astounded when a member of staff from the hospital he stayed in suggested no one in the UK had been in care longer than James who walked through the doors 21-year-old.
Karl from Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, said: “Over the years, we found a way to communicate with him. He was all there mentally, but couldn’t communicate with us at all.
“He only ever learned how to say three words again – his three loves – ‘home’, ‘pub’ and ‘horses.’
“We often took him on holidays in Britain and the hospital knew how much he loved the pub, so they would even take him there now and again.”
James was serving in the Scottish Rifle regiment, the Cameronians in Germany operating 24-hour manoeuvres when he was injured in a car crash.
Despite only breaking his nose and a thigh bone in the initial crash, after James had been sent back to Scotland and had an operation to repair his thigh bone, he suffered irreparable damage during the operation, and part of his brain shut down.
He was moved to Wester Moffat Hospital run by NHS Lanarkshire where he remained for a potentially record-breaking 54 years, only to pass away this year on Easter Sunday.
Helen Ryan, senior charge nurse at Wester Moffat, said: “Our condolences are with Jimmy’s family at this time.”
Wester Moffat Hospital confirmed that James spent 54 years in their care, after spending two years in other hospitals.
An NHS spokesperson said they were not aware of anyone having spent longer than 54 years in an NHS hospital.