Money is nothing without my husband

"I WOULD give back every penny if it meant I could have my husband back" – Those were the words of the wife of Derek Mayes, the trucker who could be awarded a six figure settlement following an horrific accident at Felixstowe Port.

"I WOULD give back every penny if it meant I could have my husband back" – Those were the words of the wife of Derek Mayes, the trucker who could be awarded a six figure settlement following an horrific accident at Felixstowe Port.

Derek, 65, suffered severe brain damage following the accident almost five years ago when his lorry was picked up by a crane at the port and he fell more than 20 feet to the floor.

Today Ann Mayes told how their once normal lives had been destroyed by the accident, which almost killed her husband.

She also spoke about the couple's anger and bitterness that Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company has failed to accept liability for the accident.


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Doctors only gave Derek up to 48 hours to live when he was thrown from his lorry cab that had remained attached to the container being lifted by the crane - but he fought back and survived.

However he has been left severely brain damaged and needs constant care and support from those around him.

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At a hearing at London's Law Courts yesterday Mr Mayes was promised a settlement that could be around £250,000.

Ann said she was pleased that the settlement had been offered but it would never bring her husband back.

To a stranger, Derek does not look any different to anyone else and can hold a conversation but Ann knows it is not the same man she married.

With tears in her eyes she said: "I don't know that gentleman sitting on the chair.

"I have lost my husband, my best friend and my companion."

Ann is a constant carer for Derek who would not bath, dress or do anything unless he was told. He constantly follows her around.

She has five daughters who think the world of him, but it upsets her when she sees their grandchildren try to play with their grandad and he cannot reciprocate or gets grumpy with them.

The only thing that has kept her going is the love she feels for her husband.

She said: "I have to keep going. If I did not do it they would put him away and he could not cope with that.

"It is the love and support of his family that has kept him going."

Derek had been a lorry driver since 1960, after completing two years of National Service when he was a physical training instructor.

He told how it was his dream to be a lorry driver, travelling the country – but now that has been taken away from him.

His head injury has left him unable to drive or ride a bike and he finds it difficult to concentrate on conversations.

He said: "I see lorries going up and down the A14 and I think that should be me in there earning the pennies."

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