Saturday, March 21, was a warm dry day and I spent most of it working in the garden.

In the evening, I started to get bad cramps in my left leg, by 10pm the pain began to increase rapidly and the leg started to swell and become numb.

We phoned 999 and an ambulance arrived and took me to St Mary’s Hospital A and E Department while my wife followed by car.

After examinations by the medical staff it was confirmed I had suffered a serious blood clot.

We were told the situation was life threatening and there was a likelihood I may lose my leg.

As it now became time critical it was decided the air ambulance would be organised to transfer me to Southampton General Hospital where they are equipped for the required vascular surgical procedures.

The helicopter arrived at 4am and seven minutes later I was at Southampton General Hospital, where I was transferred to theatre for immediate surgery.

I would like to thank the crew of the air ambulance for their speedy availability response and for the compassion and kindness that was shown to my wife throughout this terrifying ordeal she endured.

I have since been told that without the air ambulance service my life would have been seriously compromised.

I would also like to thank the team of vascular surgeons at Southampton led by Mr Ian Nordon, who performed the complex endovascular surgery that saved both my life and my leg.

I also thank surgeons Ms Nandita Pal and Mr Mike Phillips who carried out the same surgery on my left leg ten days later.

I was in Southampton General Hospital for five weeks and then transferred to St Mary’s IW for a further five days.

I am now under the re-assuring care of South Wight Medical Practice, Brighstone.

I must make specific thanks to Doctor Ali and Dr Panos Potziokos, who, on my discharge from hospital, contacted us immediately at home and organised all needed medication and advice.

I also would like to thank nurses Cathy and Beverly, who have been regularly visiting us at home for over a month now to change dressings and remove stitches etc.

Their skills, kindness and patience have been a great help to not only me but also my wife.

It was my 75th birthday recently and to all the aforementioned and to the NHS doctors, nurses and all auxiliary staff that were part of my thankful recovery, I raised a glass and offered you all my sincere, heartfelt thanks.