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Mystery rescue for Chippenham man
A mystery Good Samaritan came to the rescue of runner Jeff Kirk who collapsed at the side of the road.
The woman stopped to help in the dark when she saw him lying face down by the A4.
Now Mr Kirk wants to thank the mysterious woman who may have saved his life.
The 68-year-old half-marathon runner was running alongside the Derry Hill to Chippenham road when he fell and blacked out.
The passing driver looked after him after spotting him by the road at 5pm.
“I could have died. I feel extremely lucky,” said Mr Kirk, of Hardens Mead in Chippenham. “The doctors told me that if you’re unconscious for more than 15 minutes you’re in trouble.
“I could have been there for any number of minutes if this lady hadn’t stopped. She’s a good person.
“There’s not many people who would stop their car at night, especially when you’re lying face down.”
The Great Western Ambulance Service said they were grateful to passers-by who helped while an ambulance is on the way. A spokesman said: “Anyone unconscious is in danger of going into cardiac arrest. Outside, exposed to the elements, the cold slows down the heartbeat and blood flow and increases the risk.”
Mr Kirk said he could not recall anything about the kind stranger. “One minute I was running and the next thing I woke up in the back of this strange car,” he said.
The woman gave him a blanket, which he has washed and would like to return.
Mr Kirk, who works as a car valeter, runs the two miles home from his job at the Fiat garage in Pewsham four days a week.
He had just set off home last Wednesday when he tripped and fell.
After coming to in the car, he was also looked after by Helen Lennox, who came out of her house on London Road and talked to Mr Kirk until the ambulance arrived seven minutes later.
Paramedics took him to hospital in Swindon. He has a fractured cheekbone after hitting his head and bruising to his hands where he tried to stop his fall.
Mr Kirk is an experienced runner and took part in the Santa Scamper from Calne last month. He also ran the half marathons in Devizes and Swindon last year and, though driving into work at the moment, he is keen as ever to run the Chippenham half-marathon in September. “The older I get the more I enjoy the freedom of running,” he said.
But his wife Jane, 48, is now worried in case he falls again. “I do worry if he goes out,” she said. “It was a shock to see him in hospital.”
The couple would like to see the footpath by the A4 resurfaced. “I’ve been running down it for the last seven years and it’s never had any work done,” said Mr Kirk. “You can see all these lumps and bumps in the daytime but not when you’re running at night, even with a headtorch.”
“It’s only a matter of time before another runner falls,” said Mrs Kirk.