Former Exmouth spitfire pilot dies

A FORMER spitfire pilot, who was at threat from having NHS funding withdrawn, has died - just days after the healthcare body granted an extension to his care plan. John Mejor, of Exmouth, a former RAF squadron leader who was awarded the Distinguished Flyi

A FORMER spitfire pilot, who was at threat from having NHS funding withdrawn, has died - just days after the healthcare body granted an extension to his care plan.

John Mejor, of Exmouth, a former RAF squadron leader who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism in the Battle of Malta in 1942, died, aged 88, on March 24.

He leaves his wife, C�cile, 94, two daughters, Jane and Sally, as well as two grandchildren, Damion and Matthew.

Mr Mejor, who suffered from dementia, lived at Linksway Nursing Home, in Douglas Avenue, for around two years, with his �800-a-week nursing care paid by the NHS after qualifying for its continuing care package.


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His daughter, Sally Mejor, 54, however, received a letter last January, which said he could no longer receive full financial support.

In a bittersweet turn of events, she was told on March 17, seven days before her father died, his care package would be extended and fully funded by the health service.

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Sally said she did have chance to tell her dad before he died that it had been granted for another year. Though, she added: "I am still amazed at the way they (the NHS) went about it."

Mr Mejor's funeral took place at Exeter Crematorium yesterday, April 7.

Sally feared she may have had to sell her parents' home, in Foxholes Hill, where her mother wanted to remain for the rest of her life, to pay the costs.

She claimed it was "preposterous" and "disgraceful" that after her father, who she said had given his life to this country, was accepted on the care package, the NHS had changed its stance.

Her main concern over the decision was his "fundamental condition" had not altered from when he was allowed onto the scheme.

Sally decided to campaign against the decision and received support, notably from East Devon MP Hugo Swire, who raised the issue during a Parliamentary debate about dementia.

"This was a battle for my father against bureaucracy that I thought had gone mad and I could not believe the way they had approached me," she said.

"I did think it was a wonderful moment to hear they were going to grant if for another year but, sadly, it won't be necessary now.

"I am sad I had to fight and turn my attention away from my father in his last few months.

"In January, when I could have been sitting with him all the time, I was trying to get some support going.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support I've been given and I would like to thank people from all over the world who have contacted me.

"I was so touched that people actually felt so much for him. He was an amazing man and did deserve someone to fight for him.

"I would also like to thank the Linksway (Nursing Home) for being very sensitive, especially the matrons, Sally, Vicky and Jane.

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