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Pensioner urges Hart to help out

By Roger Moroney

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SPARE A FEW BOB? Napier pensioner Colin Claypole, with the story which prompted him to write an open letter to the country's wealthiest man. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR HBT140507-03
SPARE A FEW BOB? Napier pensioner Colin Claypole, with the story which prompted him to write an open letter to the country's wealthiest man. PHOTO/PAUL TAYLOR HBT140507-03

A Napier pensioner has asked New Zealand's wealthiest man, billionaire Graeme Hart, to spare a few days' worth of his gathering interest to help pay a medical bill.

But even though Colin Claypole says he's had a couple of health issues of his own in the past, he doesn't want the money for himself.

He wants help for Napier woman Jacqui Scott, who is trying to raise the money she needs to get crucial surgery in the United States to remove two surgical meshes.

More than $53,000 has been raised but she still needs to find about $84,000.

Ms Scott said she was fitted with the meshes after an attack and rape at her home in 2005, but a year later began to notice debilitating pain.

The symptoms worsened to include a compromised immune system, bouts of shingles, teeth and hair loss, severe depression and incontinence.

One of the devices causing problems was a Prolift Total Pelvic Floor Repair System, the biggest to be made, and no one in New Zealand was qualified to extract it.

She needed to travel to the US to have it done, but needed the money up front and despite generous donations and fundraising from businesses and individuals was still well short.

When Mr Claypole read of her dilemma he shook his head.

"I don't know her but I really felt for her," he said.

Then he read of Mr Hart's wealth of $8.36 billion.

"It's hard to get your head around that sort of figure - it's a ridiculous amount and if I had that sort of money I'd step in."

He said as a pensioner in his 80th year he pretty well had to get by week by week. Therefore, he was not in a position to help out.

Apart from a cancer removal in 2001 and a "crook knee" he was in quite good shape: "I'm pretty fit."

Hearing of someone "suffering" like Ms Scott had saddened him and prompted him to write an open letter to the billionaire.

"I hope Mr Hart gets to see it - but then in a case like this he shouldn't need any prompting to do something."

But Mr Claypole might be able to help out next week ... if luck runs his way. "I'll check my bonus bonds to see if I've won a million" - if so, he could head back to England to see family (he's been in the Bay since 1979) and write Ms Scott a cheque.

Mr Hart could not be reached for comment.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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