RAF hero told he must sell home – be­cause he has sur­vived too long

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Jonathan Bucks

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 Bel­gium, 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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.