RAF hero told he must sell home – because he has survived too long
A HERO RAF gunner who was shot down by the Nazis and avoided capture has been told to sell his house to pay medical bills because he has ‘survived too long’.
Bob Frost, 95, was admitted to hospital after having a fall in March. But despite being placed on an ‘end of life care’ programme after developing pneumonia and a kidney infection, Mr Frost confounded doctors to make a miraculous recovery.
Now, given his good health, the NHS says they are withdrawing funding for his care and passed on the cost to his local council, who will demand he stump up the cash.
Mr Frost, who was the rear gunner in a Wellington bomber that was shot down in 1942 as it flew to raid the German city of Essen, faces having to sell his two-bedroom home in Sandwich, Kent, to pay the monthly £5,000 care fees. The property is worth around £300,000
The bed-bound veteran said: ‘The NHS said I’d survived too long and they were stopping my funding, That came as a mortal blow, it really did.’
After his fall, Mr Frost spent one night in the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, before being moved to Ami Court, an NHS nursing home in the same county.
Mr Frost said: ‘I don’t have a massive retirement plan. My pension wasn’t adjusted for the cost of living, so I came off very thinly. All my life I tried to buy a house so I’d have something to pass on to my children. But now they’re taking it away. I’ve never been one to be greedy, but I worked hard for my house and I had hoped to be able to pass it on.’
After he was shot down over Bel- gium, Mr Frost went to ground, bought false identity papers and posed as a Belgian seaman visiting his elderly mother.
Helped by the resistance, he was smuggled out of Europe via the ‘ Comet Line’, a 1,200- mile escape route to neutral Spain organised by British spies. When he arrived at the British embassy in Madrid, he posted a pair of shoes he had borrowed from a supporter back to Belgium as a sign that he had made it.
After the war he married, became a headmaster in Kent and adopted two children. But his wife, Daphne, died of motor neurone disease in 1995. He met his current partner, Mildred Schutz, 94, a former Special Operations Executive spy who served behind enemy lines, 20 years ago.
Kent County Council said they were bound by government rules which mean anyone with assets of more than £23,250 must pay for their own care costs.
But they added: ‘Mr Frost has not yet been assessed by the council and is at present receiving continuing healthcare funding from the NHS.’
‘A MORTAL BLOW’: Bob Foster and his partner Mildred Schutz, a former spy, and, right, in his RAF days