Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Have your flu jab! I do - and your NHS needs you to get this protection: if you are entitled to the free flu jab then please get it!

I need the flu jab because I had my spleen kicked to bits in a racing fall at Stratford 10 years ago - I liked the horse so much that I tried to catch it as it fell on top of me at the second last fence at Stratford races; the combination of the fall and the horse landing on me crushed my left side, broke over ten ribs, displaced some vertebrae, gave me a pneumothorax (Rib through the lung) and perforated my spleen; this damaged and perforated spleen was then taken out by a great surgeon called Mr. Mike Stellakis, at Warwick General Hospital, leaving me with a scar down my tummy, and the loss of a key element of the body's protective system. As a result I am immuno compromised. Without the operation I would have died. I did keep racing as a jockey, after a long recovery, and even raced again at Stratford, but I owe a massive debt to the NHS.
The loss of my spleen puts me in a group that includes pensioners, the pregnant, and other at risk groups who need the flu jab. It is a scandal that some people who are entitled to a free flu jab are failing to take up the jab, which could save their life.

Please make sure you ask your elderly relatives, or those like me who are in an at risk group, to get the jab. Some people will die or get very sick this winter because of the lack of this and it is totally wrong, and totally avoidable. The jab is free and available at all GPs. Not only is this a potential tragedy, but if people get sick through failing to have the flu jab they can occupy much needed hospital beds, with everything that this entails for both the hospital and the wider community.

3 years ago I had my jab done in less than 3 minutes by Sarah at the Haltwhistle GP Clinic. It does not hurt [much!] and will save your life!! Please make sure you check your parents, elderly relatives and neighbours have done the same thing.