A Bury St Edmunds car dealership that went the extra mile to get a soldier to the birth of his first child has received a special ‘scroll of thanks’.
Captain Nick Sharpe, of Wattisham Airfield, was en route to West Suffolk Hospital last Tuesday – where his wife, Laura, had been induced the night before – when a warning engine light came on in his car.
He stopped at Northgate Volkswagen, in Northern Way, and, though they were fully booked, staff were sympathetic of his situation and said they would help.
But Nick’s daughter Arya –named after a headstrong, independent Game Of Thrones character – was not prepared to wait. Her arrival was already two weeks overdue!
So, when a call came in telling Nick his wife had gone into labour ‘quicker than expected,’ staff dropped everything to get him to the hospital, just in time to catch Laura going on to the birthing suite.
They also took his repaired car to the hospital, along with a large bunch of flowers and Arya’s first toy – a teddy.
Nick, 31, who is due to leave on an operational tour in Afghanistan next week, said: “They pulled out all the stops. It was just amazing. I’ve certainly never felt so humbled by a bunch of people that I had never met.”
Laura, 32, said: “I was really touched. It was a lovely gesture. There aren’t many people that go above the call of duty.”
Sales adviser Leanne Gissing, who was the first to greet Nick and hear about his predicament, said: “There was quite a bit of pressure so it was such a relief to pull it off. I think we all got a bit emotional. It’s just such a lovely time and to have a little part in that was amazing.”
“We all have families so we understood what he was going through – it would have been a shame for him to miss it,” said Terry Scott, the company’s after sales manager who drove Nick to the hospital.
His team were introduced to Arya this week, when the Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Robert Everitt, also presented them with a ‘Magna Carta scroll of thanks’ for the part they played in creating the happy ending.
Cllr Everitt said: “What a wonderful story. We all hope, in situations like that, we’re going to meet people that will go the extra mile for us and, here at Volkswagen, they did that and they are to be commended.”