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Good Samaritan who assisted senior injured in South Surrey fall ‘glad it worked out for the best’

Bystanders took woman to hospital after waiting more than 30 minutes for ambulance
The efforts of Good Samaritans to assist an injured senior in biting-cold weather was ‘the most touching thing,’ says the senior’s daughter. (Matt Nelson/Unsplash photo)

First Aid and comfort provided to an injured senior last month by complete strangers was “the most touching thing,” the senior’s daughter said this week.

And now, following a written appeal to identify the Good Samaritans, Kathy Simpkins has been able to learn a few more details about what played out that afternoon, and personally say thanks.

READ MORE: LETTERS: Seeking Good Samaritans who helped mother after painful fall

“Their main thing was to wonder how our mom was doing,” Simpkins said Monday (March 6), of conversations she had with two women who went out of their way to help.

“No matter how unappealing the situation was, they just wanted to make sure she was OK.”

The pair were among a handful of people spurred to help when Simpkins’ mom fell while walking near 154 Street and 17 Avenue on the afternoon of Feb. 23.

Neither saw what caused the fall, Simpkins noted, but both were quick to try and help. Others also assisted, although it is unclear exactly how many.

Betty Butchart said two people were already at the senior’s side when she ran out of her home to assist.

“It was so cold, the wind was blowing, so I ran back in the house and I grabbed blankets and Kleenex and paper towels, and just wraps to keep her warm and soak up the blood,” Butchart said.

“She was so cold and bleeding quite badly.”

Butchart said two or three people provided First Aid, while two others grabbed a tarp to help shield the senior from the biting wind.

While 911 was called, the afternoon chill eventually prompted the Good Samaritans to call off the ambulance and take matters into their own hands.

“We felt it was well over half an hour (waiting for an ambulance), and then finally we just said the heck with it,” Butchart said.

“Her well-being and health is the priority. We all got together and picked her up very, very gently, kept her wrapped in blankets,” and loaded the senior into another Good Samaritan’s vehicle, who then drove her the few blocks to Peace Arch Hospital.

Butchart said she and others who had stopped to help were “very surprised” that an ambulance did not arrive in the time that they were waiting, but said she is “glad it all worked out for the best.”

B.C. Emergency Health Services officials on Tuesday (March 7) confirmed the 911 call was cancelled after 31 minutes. No reason for the wait was provided, however, a spokesperson did “apologize to the patient and their family for the delay.”

The call, the spokesperson noted, was coded ‘Orange,’ meaning urgent or potentially serious, but not life-threatening.

Through the colour-code system “patients reported to have life-threatening symptoms including cardiac arrest, chest pain, breathing difficulties, and severe bleeding or unconsciousness are prioritized.”

Simpkins said she had no issue with the ambulance service whatsoever. Told by one of the Good Samaritans that the afternoon had apparently been a busy time for paramedics, she said the emergency responders “do incredible stuff.”
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Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
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