Saturday, September 29, 2007

Effort to Help Smoker Who Was Refused Surgery Highlighted by British Newspaper; Role of the Rest of the Story Acknowledged

The effort being spearheaded by FORCES International to help a British smoker who was denied surgery for a painful and severely broken ankle because he smokes was highlighted Thursday in a Cornwall (UK) newspaper -- The Cornishman. The article notes the role played by The Rest of the Story in providing a forum where this news could be reported and discussed and on which this effort could originate.

As the article reports: "A pro-smoking group in the United States is pledging to pay for the private treatment of a Newlyn smoker who is being denied surgery on the NHS. FORCES International is waiting for permission from John Nuttall to start a fund-raising campaign. The human rights group, which proclaims to protect personal lifestyle choices, was alerted to Mr Nuttall's plight after it was documented on a Boston physician's website. Michael Siegel's article stimulated 131 replies with many involved in a debate demanding action. Twenty-nine pro-smokers pledged 1,545 in individual donations of 20 to 100. FORCES International president Maryetta Ables said the John Nuttall fund-raiser would meet the full cost of private care. Speaking to The Cornishman from West Virginia, she said: "All we need to know is our target goal and he will be free to go get his surgery." Mr Nuttall's story hit the national headlines this month.The 57-year-old, who broke his ankle two years ago, has been repeatedly turned down for surgery and is being prescribed a daily dose of morphine tablets for pain."

Mr. Nuttall is presently weighing his decision about whether to pursue surgery or not. He expressed tremendous appreciation for the concern expressed by those who pledged money on this blog, which has lifted his spirits. He expects to make a decision early this week. Should he accept the offer, The Rest of the Story will publicize the fund and provide a link to the page where donations can be made.

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