UK's longest-serving patient dies after 54 years in vegetative state

The Army veteran, who could only say three words, died in April aged 75

London: A former soldier thought to be the UK's longest-serving patient has died after spending 54 years in a vegetative state at the same hospital, the British media reported today.

James Morris was admitted to hospital with a broken leg in 1962 at the age of 21 but never went home after suffering a cardiac arrest on the operating table. He was left in a vegetative state after the operation and was moved to Wester Moffat Hospital in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.

The Army veteran, who could only say three words, died in April aged 75, the BBC reported. His brother Karl Morris, 62, said a member of staff from Wester Moffat had suggested that no-one had been in care in a single hospital longer than James.

Karl Morris 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 when he was injured in a car crash. He only broke his nose and thigh bone in the crash but
part of his brain shut down during the operation on his thigh. Helen Ryan, senior charge nurse at Wester Moffat, said:"Our condolences are with Jimmy's family at this time.
"Having spent such an extraordinarily long time at the hospital, Jimmy touched the lives of many. He was a good confidant and a great character and he will be sorely missed
by everyone at the Heather Ward."

Wester Moffat Hospital confirmed James had spent 54 years in their care after spending two years in other hospitals. A spokesman of the National Health Service (NHS) said
they were not aware of anyone having spent longer than 54 years in an NHS hospital.
Karl Morris has praised the "unbelievable" staff at the hospital for the care they gave his brother.

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