Collaborative efforts praised in local man’s rescue

April 8, 2013

By Christine Keighery

Well-known local man Eddie Nugent had a lucky escape last Wednesday after a nasty fall at his Anamar Road home in Crossmaglen. Thanks to the swift response of local emergency services, the actions of his personal carer and the efforts of the local community, the stricken pensioner was rescued from his ordeal and is recovering well.

His family have commended local emergency and care services and his neighbours for their invaluable response and help in the rescue effort. The 90 year old was walking around the back of his property last Wednesday afternoon, when he stumbled down a drop at the edge of his yard onto unstable ground and became entangled in barbed wire and brambles.  Luckily for Eddie, his dedicated care worker, Joyce McEntee, arrived for her usual tea-time call at 5pm and heard his cries for help.  Quick thinking Joyce raised the alarm with the emergency services immediately and alerted his life-long neighbours to his plight.

They rallied round to assist Mr Nugent, who believed he had been trapped for around an hour.  Due to the instability of the ground below him, they were unable to move him for fear the earth would give way causing him to fall a further five feet. However, according to his family, their efforts in keeping him warm and in good spirits were invaluable during his ordeal. The Crossmaglen fire service and the Ambulance service arrived only a matter of minutes later and firefighters, using specialist equipment, were able to free the extremely shaken gentleman and bring him to safety. Once checked over by the waiting ambulance crew, Mr Nugent was taken to Daisy Hill hospital where he received stitches to lacerations on his hand and remained there for observation until Friday afternoon.

Daughter, Teresa Nugent, spoke to The Examiner about her father’s ordeal and expressed her gratitude to all involved in bringing him to safety.  Ms Nugent said the incident underlined the importance of having locally based emergency services in a rural community, who were able to respond within minutes of being alerted to the incident.  She also sought to highlight the necessity of community care services for the elderly.

“In this current climate with cuts to vital services, I think daddy’s accident highlights the vital role carers and home help play in the lives of their clients and families” she said,

“If Joyce had not arrived so punctually as always and behaved as responsibly as she had, he might not have been found so quickly, and it could have been disastrous for him.  These dedicated carers are an absolute lifeline for elderly people and this just shows how important they are.

“In addition, the efforts of his neighbours and local community were so much appreciated and are a real testament to the unfailing community spirit in the area.  It’s a timely reminder of how important it is to look out for our elderly neighbours and check on them.

“Myself and my brother Seamus are just so thankful to all those who helped our father. Daddy is coming home today precisely because the good people around him acted so quickly in rescuing him from a terrible ordeal that could have been so much worse.”