Ex-EastEnders star Dean Gaffney donates TV show tickets to Royal Derby Hospital staff who treated him after city car smash
A SURGEON and two nurses who cared for ex-EastEnders star Dean Gaffney in hospital after his city car crash have been given tickets to see him live on stage.
The actor said donating the tickets for the final of BBC One show Let's Dance for Comic Relief was his way of thanking the Royal Derby Hospital staff – as he would not have been able to compete without their help.
Mr Gaffney, 35, suffered head injuries when his Mini Cooper hit the central barrier on the southbound A38, between Markeaton roundabout and Kingsway on Wednesday, January 30.
He had been staying in the city while appearing in Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced at Derby Theatre and was taken to the hospital after the incident.
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After recovering from the crash, his first stage appearance was in the Comic Relief charity show.
Mr Gaffney reached the final of the competition and decided to invite surgeon Sujeev Rajapakse – who operated on his head injury – and his ward nurses, Alison Reynolds and Tina Murphy, to watch him perform in London tomorrow.
Mr Gaffney said: "It's the least that I can do.
"The producers of the show have been very generous and didn't hesitate in agreeing to help.
"It's a small way of thanking the hospital staff for all that they did for me. Without their help and support, I wouldn't have been able to take part."
The hospital employees will be VIP guests at the event – where Mr Gaffney will perform with fellow former soap stars Claire Sweeney, Natalie Cassidy and Ricky Groves to the song You Can't Stop The Beat, from the musical Hairspray.
It is the same number he performed during the first heat of the competition, when a long scar on his forehead could clearly be seen during his appearance.
Ms Murphy said: "I'm really excited and can't believe I'm going to watch the live show.
"It's really nice for him to show his appreciation by donating these tickets and I'm sure we'll all have a great time.
"Mr Gaffney was a model patient when he was with us and it was a highlight in one sense looking after him, although it was very upsetting at the same time."
And Ms Reynolds said: "We've had thank-yous and cards in the past before but nothing like this – it's a really nice gesture. I've got two girls who dance a lot and they're very jealous I'm going.
"I've watched the show before and enjoyed it but there's obviously been the added interest of Mr Gaffney this year. I've looked after two or three celebrities but it's not something you do very often."