Police rush surgeon to theatre

A surgeon has thanked the police for helping him reach his hospital to perform an urgent operation after getting stuck in traffic for almost two hours amid snowy conditions.

Aziz Anjum, who had to travel toSt Helier Hospital in Sutton, south London from his house in Purley, was running out of time to perform a life-saving operation when he was held up on congested roads on Tuesday.

The consultant vascular surgeon then flagged down a police car at 9.45am. He told Sergeant Mark Dolce, who was on patrol in Carshalton, south London, that he needed to get to the hospital to carry out the operation on a very ill patient.

Sgt Dolce told Mr Anjum to park his car by the side of Park Road and then drove the medic to the hospital within seven minutes in his 4x4 police vehicle, according to a spokesperson.

Mr Anjum was then able to carry out the operation on a patient suffering from an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which causes the body's main artery to swell up.

A hospital spokesperson said that if the condition is not treated, it can become life-threatening. He also said that the patient was now stable.

Sgt Dolce, based at Sutton in the Safer Parks Team, said: "The surgeon was over the moon - and was very grateful. It was great to be on the spot at the time and to help with such an important journey."

Mr Anjum said: "Full credit to Sutton Police - they were very helpful, kind and professional."

Samantha Jones, chief executive of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "It's times like this that the absolute dedication of the emergency services and healthcare professionals shines through."

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