Leg-break man hails rescuers

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A DISABLED man who broke his leg and lay in the snow shouting for help has sent special Christmas wishes to the good samaritans who helped him.

Although William Nelson will spend tomorrow alone with his leg in plaster, unable to travel to be with his family, the west end resident is just thankful to be on the mend after a horror fall outside his house.

The 64-year old, who has since had a metal plate and screws put into the bone at the bottom of his leg, told the Hawick News: “I want people to know about the kindness which I experienced that day and how many good people there are in Hawick.”

The Drumlanrig Place resident explained: “I had been setting off to see my family in Biggar at about 7am when I slipped on black ice at the top of my stairs and fell all the way down.

“I knew my leg was broken because I skied down the stairs with it behind me and felt it go, and I ended up jammed at the bottom against the gate.

“I’m a big bloke and I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t get to my mobile because it was underneath me.”

In sub-zero temperatures and being so early in the morning, Mr Nelson, who suffers from arthritis and is registered disabled, says as he lay in the snow in agony he was quickly becoming cold.

But thankfully, after around 10 minutes his faint cries for help were heard by fellow westenders Gavin Redmond and Karen Thompson.

Karen, who works at Wrights, told the Hawick News: “I was taking Gav to open up the Weensland garage just after 7am and we stopped for a paper at Shiels’ shop on the Loan.

“When he was coming back to the car he did a double take up the close next to it then disappeared, and came back saying that there was a man shouting for help.”

She went on: “It was awful, the poor man was jammed against the gate and was in a lot of pain.

“There was snow on the ground, and I could see his leg was broken.”

Luckily the pair were able to raise the alarm and phone an ambulance, and they stayed talking with Mr Nelson as long as they could. Karen added: “It’s a fluke that we went that way that morning, and I’m really pleased we could help.”

Mr Nelson, who spent five days in the Borders General Hospital, stated: “My neighbours put blankets on me until the ambulance came, and it was sheer luck that couple heard me. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone.”