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Spalding miracle couple’s ‘thank you’ gift for Pennygate Foundation




Sandra and Ivan Croft with Brenda Wickham of Pennygate Foundation, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG230118-105TW.
Sandra and Ivan Croft with Brenda Wickham of Pennygate Foundation, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG230118-105TW.

A Spalding couple who both ‘came back from the dead’ while in hospital have donated a gift to a town charity for changing their lives.

Ivan (63) and Sandra Croft (71), of Percheron Drive, now spend their weekday lunchtimes at the Pennygate Foundation just over two years after he was fighting for his life in hospital.

Sandra Croft, of Spalding, who spent her childhood years 'in and out of hospital'. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG030814-113TW.
Sandra Croft, of Spalding, who spent her childhood years 'in and out of hospital'. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG030814-113TW.

After falling ill in December 2015, Ivan spent two weeks in an “induced coma” while medical staff at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital treated him for too much fluid in the body which caused his weight to soar up to 26st.

But in the last two years, Ivan has shed more than eight stone with the help of various balanced diet lunches provided by Pennygate Foundation trustee Brenda Wickham.

To show their gratitude, the Crofts donated a new fridge to the charity that centre provides meals and other support for the elderly, homeless, disabled and families in need.

Ivan said: “A week before Christmas 2015, I went to my doctor who put me on water tablets (diuretics).

I was eating and drinking too much so I was taken to Pilgrim Hospital on December 29, 2015, but I couldn’t even get out of the car
Ivan Croft, of Spalding

“But my body filled up water so I went to another doctor who was surprised by the amount of weight I’d put on because I’d shot up from 23st to 26st.

“At the time, I was eating and drinking too much so I was taken to Pilgrim Hospital on December 29, 2015, but I couldn’t even get out of the car.

“So the hospital staff brought me a wheelchair and all I can remember is going through the main doors of the hospital - nothing else”.

Ivan revealed that the hospital then had to call Sandra on December 30 to inform her that “I’d passed away but they had managed to revive me” and, after that, I spent two weeks in an induced coma before going home in February 2016.”

This brush with death for Ivan brought back memories for Sandra of her own childhood which she admitted had been spent “in and out of hospital” in Spalding.

Sandra said: “My mum told me that when I was a baby, that doctors at the old Johnson Hospital in Spalding had to bring me back to life once.

“Later, when I was four or five, I had rheumatic fever and the doctors told my mum that I would live only till I was 16 because I was in a wheelchair.

“I used to the hospital my second home because I’d been in every one of its children’s wards.

“The doctors also told my mum that I’d never walk again, get married or have children.

“But I told my mum ‘you don’t think I’m going to stay in this wheelchair all of my life?’ and she said ‘you’re such a little fighter.’”

“The doctors also told my mum that I’d never walk again, get married or have children, but I’ve all of these now.”

Ivan said: “After coming out of hospital on January 10, 2016, I couldn’t even stand up and I had to learn how to walk again.

“But the staff at Pilgrim were brilliant and I couldn’t fault them in any way.

“Then Brenda at Pennygate put me on this diet which saw me go from 26st to 18st 2lbs and now my target weight is 17st.

“I’ve gone from wearing a size 54 waist to a size 48 and I can get about now, whereas before I had to leave my wife to go and do the shopping.

“I’ve packed up alcohol and I stick to a diet Brenda has given me through which I feel a lot better now.

“So Sandra and I have donated a fridge to the Pennygate Foundation which it needed because I couldn’t have lost weight on my own.”

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