A TUNBRIDGE Wells man who changed his name to Elvis Presley is furious after claiming hospital staff refused to believe what he was called.
Mr Presley, 61, of Eastlands Road, said he was rushed by ambulance to Tunbridge Wells Hospital when the right side of his body became paralysed.
But when he arrived and gave his name, he said he was livid to hear a nurse respond: “My name’s Priscilla – now give me your real name?”
He said he had got used to jibes over the years but the nurse’s alleged response left him seething.
“The nurse asked my name and I told her and she said ‘pleased to meet you, my name’s Priscilla, now give me your real name,” he said.
“I’m just about fed up with it – if she’s a nurse, she wants to go to attitude classes or something, I really wasn’t well.”
Mr Presley changed his name from John Coleman in 1977, when Elvis died.
“It was 3.30pm Memphis time in 1977 when the late King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, died,” he said.
“I don’t regret changing my name, it’s just the attitude of some people. Most of them I just shake off now, but the way the nurse said it was really abrupt – if she was joking it would’ve been different.”
Mr Presley said he began to lose feeling in the right side of his body between his shoulder and foot on the evening of Saturday, June 20.
He was taken to hospital the following evening, at about 10.30pm, and claimed he hobbled home at midnight, which he said took five hours as he dragged his leg behind him.
He regained feeling in his body about two days later, but says he has remained upset at the way he was treated.
But he is still happy with his name, saying there had been similarities between his and the Jailhouse Rock star’s life.
“I’m still pleased I changed my name,” said Mr Presley. “I really liked they guy.”
“He was brought up in a rough area of Mississippi, I had something similar in London’s Docklands area.
“He made films such as It Happened at the World’s Fair – I used to work at a fair and a circus – so we were both entertainers.
“I lived his story. Except for the millionaire part.
“I was always interested in him, his and songs and films. His songs had real meaning.
“Most people I know accept my name now and just say ‘morning Elvis, afternoon Elvis’, it’s no big deal to them.”
A Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust spokesman said a complaint had been received and the circumstances were being looked into, adding: “We are sorry Mr Presley was unhappy with his experience and we would like to emphasize that we expect our staff to treat all of our patients with respect and dignity.
“As this complaint is still being reviewed, we are unable to comment any further at this time.”