When Stephen Millar narrowly avoided death after a heart attack in May the last thing on his mind was the car he had driven to work that day.
But the 53-year-old from Forfar was left “furious” when the parking company that fined him as he lay barely conscious in hospital subsequently increased his £87 fine to £142 and threatened him with legal action if he failed to pay.
After being contacted by The Courier, Saba Parking has now agreed to cancel the fine and legal threat. The company said Mr Millar used the wrong email address to appeal and it was therefore unaware of the severity of his condition.
After being told by the The Courier the fine was being rescinded, Mr Millar said he was happy to see common sense had prevailed.
“In the future, maybe people in the same circumstances will fight these companies,” he said.
The road maintenance worker said he had previously made sure details of his medical condition were sent to the company.
He said the prospect of the larger fine and legal threat had caused him additional stress while he was recovering from his ordeal.
He said: “What happened to me was life-changing. I can’t do half the things I used to do. The last thing I need are bills like that come through the door.”
Mr Millar collapsed in May after being taken from work to a GP by a concerned supervisor. A colleague later followed him to Ninewells with his vehicle.
He said: “They had to resuscitate me four times – three times in the doctors and once in the ambulance. I wasn’t thinking about anything – I was just thinking about breathing.”
While he was recovering in the hospital at 6.38am the next day wardens placed a parking ticket for £87 on his car.
He was dismayed to later receive the higher bill and a letter threatening legal action.
Angus Conservative MP Kirstene Hair took up his case, writing to the company to urge them to use discretion.
Mr Millar said: “I would like to thank Kirstene for all she has done to help me with this.”
The MP said: “This situation was deeply distressing but I know this will not be the only instance. Sick and vulnerable people should not be penalised for accessing medical care in their time of need.”
She called for a review of parking charges at Ninewells Hospital.
“I believe steps should be taken to remove these charges entirely,” she said.
The Scottish Government has said previously agreed long-term contracts with parking providers at Ninewells prevent it from abolishing the charges, as it has done at most other Scottish hospitals.