Clevedon woman's life saved by local 'heroes' after fall

Sarah Jane, Daniel, Don and Samantha

Happier times Sarah Jane, Daniel 13, Don and Samantha, 15, on holiday in Antigua 2019. - Credit: Don Foley

A Clevedon man whose wife received a serious leg injury following a fall while out walking alone, says local heroes helped save her life. 

Sarah Jane Foley, aged 51, lost a lot of blood and needed an emergency operation on a compound fracture to her ankle; after she slipped on mud while walking up a hill near her home on New Year's Day. 

Sarah called her husband Don, aged 62, from her mobile asking for urgent help as she believed she had broken ankle by the Keeper's Cottage. 

The area was difficult to reach quickly by car, with access hindered by several locked gates; so, the couple’s 13-year-old son Daniel, ran ahead to find her. 

Don called for an ambulance and was told there was a two-hour wait, he also knocked at several houses to ask people to open the gates. 

Daren Summerell

Daren Summerell - Credit: Daren Summerell

Quick to assist, Daren Summerelle, aged 56, used an angle grinder to remove the chain off one gate. 

By the time Don reached his wife, Sarah had been joined by mother and daughter Janet and Hannah. 

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Don said: “My son found her in a lot of pain, I was joined by three people whose houses I called at, by the time I got there two ladies had turned up and also phoned for an ambulance.” 

After a long wait and a second call for an ambulance, concerns grew for Sarah’s wellbeing, so it was decided that Daren and neighbour Simon Hirst, aged 56, would carry her to the vehicle so Don could take her to hospital.  

Don said: “She was screaming and shouting in pain, it was cold and everyone was pulling together to help. 

"It was an astonishing show of generosity and kindness, they’re all heroes.” 

Sarah, who is currently at Southmead Hospital, might not walk again for six to 12 months, and will need another operation and skin graft. 

Don is keen to contact the people who helped him to thank them for their support. 

Simon Hirst

Simon Hirst - Credit: Simon Hirst

Simon added: “A crisis brings out the best in people, you just have to get on with it and people help each other.” 

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