WAYNE Hall’s credentials as a diehard Rovers fan will now never be in doubt - after he ignored repeated pleas from doctors and checked himself out of hospital to attend the East Lancashire derby.
The 28-year-old from Whitebirk had been taken to the Royal Blackburn with suspected appendicitis last weekend, and medics made repeated pleas for him to remain under their care, as they feared for his life if his appendix was to burst.
The Leicester Road resident had suffered sharp pains in his stomach the day before the match and was struggling to breathe, so his girlfriend called an out-of-hours doctor, who advised he should go straight to the emergency department.
Wayne said: “When we got to hospital on the Saturday night they said it was either appendicitis or gall stones, but they couldn’t do the operation until Monday.
"They wanted to keep me in so they could monitor things and have me on medication, but I just felt it was pointless when nothing was going to happen till the Monday, so I told them I wanted to go to the match.
“Some of the staff got quite worried and they tried about 20 or 30 times to persuade me to stay, but I wasn’t going to miss a Rovers-Burnley game. I’ve not missed one since I started going to the football as a kid.”
Wayne, who works for a firm which sells discount books, eventually discharged himself that night and took up his place in the Jack Walker stand on the Sunday afternoon, armed with a packet of codeine to ease the pain.
He said: “I was hurting a lot and it was hard to breathe, and I think the nerves and excitement made it worse. Plus I couldn’t sit down, as everyone stands up to watch the derby. But I got through the match and in the end I was just gutted that we lost.”
Thankfully Wayne’s condition did not deteriorate, and he returned to hospital on the Monday morning to resume treatment.
He said: “When I went back in they found an abscess with fluid around it, like an infection, so it was more serious than I thought. But I had my appendix removed on the Tuesday and it was all okay, and I got out of hospital on Friday.”
His sister Leanne, who contacted the Lancashire Telegraph about the story, said her brother had proved himself to be a ‘true Rovers fan in sickness and health’.
Dr Ian Stanley, interim medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Although Wayne is clearly passionate about his team, we cannot condone anyone leaving against medical advice.”
The Lancashire Telegraph's health expert Dr Tom Smith said: “Checking yourself out of hospital while you are being treated for this kind of illness is a very stupid thing to do, especially if you are going to a football match.It could have proved fatal if he had not got to hospital in time.”