A local man has been hailed a community hero by Garden House Hospice Care this week after coming to the rescue of a 78 year old man who was trapped in his own home for a number of days after a fall.
Paul Wilding, who volunteers as a Compassionate Neighbour for the Hospice, became worried about Jim Pryce from Knebworth when he failed to answer or return his calls over a number of days.
Paul drove to Jim’s house to see if he was ok, but gut instinct told him something wasn’t right and he contacted the Police.
“When Jim didn’t answer my calls from Wednesday evening, I became concerned and went to his house on the Saturday morning to check on him.
“We found poor Jim trapped between his bed and the wall after rolling off the bed on the Wednesday evening. He was very frail, his throat was extremely dry and he was very shaken. Thankfully he is now recovering in hospital.”
Jim says Paul saved his life, adding:
“I didn’t think I was going to make it. I couldn’t get up and I felt shattered. All I can say is Thank God for Paul – he was my God that day.”
Paul first met Jim at the weekly community hub which is organised by the Hospice and run by Compassionate Neighbours every Monday at the Stevenage Community Arts Centre. Compassionate Neighbours is a scheme organised by the Hospice where volunteers are matched with community members who are socially isolated, lonely or suffering from a life-limiting illness. They offer support and a listening ear for at least one hour a week.
Paul signed up to be a Compassionate Neighbour a few months after his wife Carole passed away at the Hospice in August 2017. He visits a community member, Alan once or twice a week, but began to keep in contact with Jim as well, who lost his partner two years ago.
“The Compassionate Neighbour scheme has meant the world to me,” explains Paul.
“It has supported me so much and keeps me going - it has been a great help to me since my wife died. I looked after her when she was ill, so I love helping other people.”
If you'd like to find out more about Compassionate Neighbours click here.