David Teacher is a D-Day hero, who fought in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and was awarded a Légion d’honneur – the highest French order of merit. Today he is 96 years old, a volunteer at the Imperial War Museum and was knighted with an MBE for his services to charity.
Six years ago Mr Teacher had to have his legs amputated, and was taken into Oldham Royal, Greater Manchester last Saturday when he fell out of bed and suffered a bleed on his brain.
His friend Richard, who is writing a memoir about Mr Teacher’s life, says:
“His story is incredible. His achievements are astounding and he’s a shining light of our society.”
You would think that a 96-year old man in a neck brace, with no legs and stitches on his forehead, would be treated with respect even if someone didn’t know about his merits. Instead, his vulnerable state was shamelessly taken advantage of.
“A patient in the next bed pretended to be a do-gooder,” Richard says, “and offered to charge his phone for him. He took it and never came back. It’s a despicable crime.”
“How someone can steal from a 96-year old without legs lying in hospital is just beyond me. It’s not about the phone – it was only worth about £20 – but it’s the principle. Who does something like that?”
The theft was discovered when David’s daughter tried calling him and the phone was switched off. When she arrived at the hospital, the nurses confirmed that the phone was missing.
Richard adds “He feels really let down about it. You just hope people have more decency than this. There is zero conscience on that thief and this is not the first time David has been taken advantage of. He wonders whether or not the terrible loss of all those young lives was worth it and whether people are actually grateful for their liberty and remember. For someone who has given so much, he doesn’t deserve to be treated in such a way.”
A spokeswoman for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group said: “The safety and security of our patients is our priority and all patients should rightfully expect their belongings to be safe and secure whilst in our care. We are assisting the police with their investigations and will continue to support the patient and his family following this upsetting incident.