Dog walker collapses


Woodturning is on my bucket list, something I aim to ‘have a go at’ before I depart this mortal coil so I went in search of a lathe, suitable for beginners, which fortunately I managed to find on eBay, at an address in Rye. I arranged to meet the seller last Sunday, bought the lathe and, pleased with my purchase, decided to take a drive along Pett Level as it was sunny and the previous night’s storm had begun to subside.

Blue skies and sunshine on a Sunday morning are enough to motivate most of us to make an effort and get out into the fresh air and believe me, it certainly did put colour in your cheeks that morning.

As I drove along I saw a man in the field on the opposite side of the bog which runs parallel with the road, he was flat out, on the wet ground and it was obvious something wasn’t right.

He was lying on his back, arms stretched out, grasping a dog lead attached to a large husky like dog who was obviously very strong and had been attracted to a flock of sheep.

I later learned that what had happened was that the man, in his 60s who had been visiting the area from Croydon with his wife, had taken his dog for a walk, the dog slipped the lead then went after the flock of sheep. He managed to retrieve the dog but it had escaped again and the owner had collapsed whist chasing after it. Two passers by had come to the aid of the man whose distraught wife was standing on the opposite side of the bank, unable to go the aid of her husband.

I called 999 requesting an ambulance, then made my way along the road, over the barbed wire fence and joined the two passers-by who had by now taken control of the dog and were doing all they could to help the patient including administering CPR, having laid the man in the prone position.

The control room asked all sorts of questions but the patient wasn’t in a position to answer as he was in and out of consciousness and was also very cold and had difficulty in breathing but by now we had established that he was asthmatic. Passing motorists pulled up offering to help including a local resident who did a great job, comforting the patient’s wife who by now was having severe panic attacks. He stayed with her until a relative arrived who then took care of her.

The farmer who owned the land and the sheep, Larry Cooke, had been alerted to the loose dog by members of the public and arriving at the scene managed to secure the dog in his 4×4 whilst he rounded up his sheep and moved them to safety, thankfully none had been  seriously injured and one which was showing blood was deemed to have had minor cuts and although it had been distressed, was actually ok.

With no time to cross the field and bog to get to her husband, his wife had no option but to throw an inhaler to us to assist the man’s breathing but it ran out. By chance, just as it did, another passing motorist pulled up offering help, this time an off-duty GP who had an inhaler on board and which was administered to the patient.  Following the GP’s sound professional advice, we put the patient in the sitting up position which undoubtedly helped his breathing and air circulation. A passing off-duty paramedic was the next person to arrive and quickly got to the patient, checked his pulse and helped and reassured him until the ambulance arrived shortly after.

Police officers in two marked cars arrived at the scene

The patient was on the other side of the ditch and the ambulance had little choice but to drive along the sodden field to get to him in time, as he had started to get cold and was phasing in and out of consciousness. The medics and ambulance crew then took over proceedings, the patient became stabilised and then two police cars arrived at the scene and an officer took statements after Larry Cooke had very calmly explained to them what had happened.

With nothing further to do and in the knowledge that the man was at that point ‘doing ok’ I said goodbye to his wife who had begun to calm down, the dog was locked securely in the back of her car and I left them all to it.

What I had witnessed was quite a shocking event but it also highlighted the fact that dogs and sheep are not a good mix. The dog had followed its natural instincts to chase and herd the sheep, mildly injuring one in the process. The dog’s owner collapsed whilst trying to retrieve it, the farmer (who had every right to shoot the dog for worrying his sheep) did all he could to help and instead of dispatching the dog, kept it safe until it could be repatriated with its owner.

The advice and help from the passing GP and the help of the off-duty paramedic may well have saved the victim’s life, the passing motorist who, by comforting the victim’s distraught wife enabled her to cope with an extremely stressful situation and the paramedics and ambulance crew ‘just did what they do’, so well.

I sincerely hope that on arriving at hospital the man made a full recovery but thanks must go out to all concerned, all of whom did the best they could and without hesitation, to help a stranger in dire straits. Their selfless actions may well have helped to save a life today, such actions go a long way to restoring faith in human nature.

Meanwhile, now that I have got my lathe, my goal is to teach myself how to use it (with a little help from YouTube and the chap who sold it to me) then, as my first project, ‘turn’ a pair of salt and pepper pots.

I hope your Sunday morning was a little less adventurous than mine but if not, please share your story with our Rye News readers, they would be very interested to learn more.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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  1. This story goes some way to restoring my faith in human nature, it is contrary to the recent story in Rye News where a lady fell over in Ferry Road and was unable to get up – whilst several vehicles passed her by.

    Hopefully the spirit of human kindness is still alive and well.

  2. Living proof (hopefully literally) that strangers’ kindness and actions mean so much. It’s very sad that the drivers passed the poor woman who had fallen, but I rather suspect that many of them would not know what to do if they had stopped to help. Thankfully, there are more people who are thoughtful and kind than those who aren’t.

  3. A few months ago an elderly lady fell over in Wish Street, Rye. I jumped out of my car and the bus opposite stopped as we helped her. We held up the traffic for a few minutes and called an ambulance, no real issues as I think we’d all do the same?. You’d think so but I was astounded when the two people who’s house she fell in front of walked out of the front door straight passed us and offered no assistance – a blanket? Maybe a chair?
    I’m heartened by the story published as I think are mostly kind would help.


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