A PENSIONER who was left critically injured when he was struck by a van has paid tribute to his wife and the medics who aided his recovery.

Eric Judson, 79, spent eight weeks in hospital after he suffered a punctured lung, a fractured pelvis, broken ribs and internal bleeding after being hit by a van near his home in Harrison Drive, Colne, last July.

He had been getting out of his car opposite his home, before opening a rear door to retrieve a bag when the van collided with the offside of the vehicle.

Eight months later, he is still recovering from the incident and is being cared for at home with the help of his 75-year-old wife Sheila.

Mr Judson, speaking about his ordeal for the first time, said: “I can’t thank our family enough and the nurses and staff at Preston, the nurses and staff at the community hospital, our next door neighbours, and most of all the love of my life.”

Mr Judson is still walking with the help of crutches following the accident, and has been unable to get back into his normal routine.

He said: “I’m a lot better than I was, but I’m finding it extremely frustrating. I’ve got gardening to do. I want to get back to the gym training. I used to train three times a week.

“We love our holidays, and I want to go on holiday and get away from it all.

”But at the moment I have to wait and try and be patient.

“I am slightly nervous now. It’s always in the back of my mind when I get into my car.”

Sheila, who saw her husband thrown into the air during the collision, said: “I’ve had to do everything. At the moment we’re leading a fairly mundane life.

“If Eric wanted his shower I’d have to shower him and do everything for him.

“It’s just coming to the point now where he can stand by himself.”

Eric said: “By the time I come off my crutches, we’ll have lost a year of our lives and we can’t afford to do that at our age.”

Last week 25-year-old Jak Gouch admitted driving without due care and attention and was fined £140 and given three penatly points at Burnley Magistrates' Court.

The couple criticised the sentence as being too lenient.

Sheila said: “We were shocked by the sentence, we couldn’t believe it.” Eric said: “It knocks you back, something like this. I still can’t believe it really.”

The Judsons are now pursuing a personal injury claim.

But Eric said: “No amount of compensation will make up for what I’ve been through or put a smile back on my face.”

Earlier this year, £60,000 was secured for traffic calming measures along Harrison Drive following the incident.