'I'm lovin' it!' - Welwyn Hatfield MP relives the time he was saved by McDonald's
PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 July 2011
WHILE carrying out what could be seen as a fairly humdrum diary engagement - the opening of a McDonald's in Hatfield - MP Grant Shapps was taken back to a terrible accident, which left him fighting for his life.
For a grateful Mr Shapps recalled the time he spent recuperating in a McDonald’s children’s home after a “spectacular” car crash in the USA in 1989, when he just 20 years old.
On Friday the Welwyn Hatfield MP and housing minister tweeted: “Opening refurbished Hatfield McDonalds. Actually huge fan. An ’89 car crash in USA left me in a coma. I recuperated in a Ronald McD’s Home!”
Speaking about this largely untold chapter in his formative years Mr Shapps said: “It’s a little-known fact that in 1989 I was spending my holiday in the States travelling right across the country from east to west.
“We were on the way back, driving through Kansas, when an English friend of mine probably fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the car.
“It was a spectacular crash – we went across the central reservation and into the oncoming traffic.
“The car then rolled five times down an embankment, it was a complete wreck.
“I was taken out of the car and was in a coma for the best part of a week.”
Mr Shapps said he vividly remembered waking up in a hospital in Wichita.
He said: “When I came round my mum was there in the hospital, where I had to have an operation on my shoulder.
“Then afterwards I was not fit enough to travel home, so I recuperated in a Ronald McDonald home.”
Mr Shapps, who stayed at the home for three weeks, said people “don’t realise how much McDonald’s does in the community”.
“On the counter they have those charity boxes and it’s through them that they pay for the children and their families to stay and recuperate near hospitals,” he said.
The MP, who flew home on his 21st birthday, added: “I’ve always been grateful to McDonald’s.”
The newly refurbished outlet, in The Galleria, is run by franchisee Mike Ghazarian who employs 117 staff and can clearly count on Mr Shapps’ support.