Published: 13 December, 2013
by PETER GRUNER
THE family of a former Guardian newspaper journalist who was knocked off his bicycle and left with brain damage following an accident with a police car in Islington will begin legal proceedings for more than £1million against the Met next March.
Father of three Donald MacLeod, 64, who was in a coma for six weeks, has finally been able to leave hospital and go home for good, three years after the accident.
He had been thrown off his bike in the collision with the police car, which had been attending an emergency at the junction of Southgate Road and Northchurch Road.
The car, which had its siren and emergency lights on, had been on its way to a shooting on the Wilton estate in Hackney. A teenage boy was shot in the leg.
Don’s novelist sister Janet appealed to friends and former colleagues this week to dig deep and continue to support the fund, Do It for Don, which is helping to pay for her brother’s therapy.
Don and his wife Barbara moved from Hackney to Edinburgh last year to continue his treatment in hospital there and be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Janet writes on her website: “He has finally left hospital. From early October, he and Barbara have been living in their newly converted flat on the outskirts of Edinburgh – it’s lovely and open-plan for wheelchair access with views to the Pentlands – Don being a fan of Scottish hills.
“Barbara has done an amazing job in battling to get him to the stage he is at and creating a new home.”
Janet says that the past year has been full of ups and downs with Don’s health (he’s been suffering from infections and occasional fits) but the last few times she’d visited him at home, he seemed relaxed and able to follow conversations well.
“Don can’t speak but answers questions with nods and shakes of the head, and gives his customary snorts of amusement to funny remarks,” Janet adds.
“He appears alert and interested and amazingly patient with his situation.
“He still has many disabilities and needs a lot of physiotherapy just to keep him from seizing up. The fund that you (supporters) helped create has been used for this over the past two years, as he was not getting any in hospital. Now that he is home, carers come in a couple of times a day to do the essentials, but that is the maximum that social services can provide.”
Janet says that the fund has now almost run out. “I know it’s asking a lot at an expensive time of year for everyone, but if you felt you could contribute anything, it would be hugely appreciated.”
The link to the website is www.doit4don.com