A Nanaimo senior is grateful for the actions of two children who found her and called for help after she fell, suffered a concussion and lay exposed to cold night temperatures for 10 hours.
Lorraine Buchan, 90, who lives near Fillinger Crescent in north Nanaimo, took out her trash bin March 14 at about 10:30 p.m., but as she was returning to her house she fell and banged her head.
“I was putting out my garbage bin and, you know, from then on, I don’t know, I was down,” Buchan said.
She figures she might have tripped on her front doorstep. She lay there for a couple of hours, and when she came around she couldn’t get back on her feet because she had injured one arm and has a problem with the rotor cuff in the other.
She eventually crawled back into her home on her hands and knees and then lay there with the lights on and the front door open all that night, calling for help, but no one responded.
“The lights were on, the front door wide open all night,” Buchan said. “No cougars. No robbers. Nobody wanted me.”
Buchan lay in the cold for 10 hours until the following morning when Noah Lutz, 8, and his sister Meghan, 11, happened by after opting to walk to school on a different route than they’d normally take.
The children found Buchan when they heard her weak cries for help and investigated.
“It’s not the fast way to school so I don’t why they were going that way that day, but they decided to … Every once in a while they leave early and walk different ways and it just happened to be that day as fate would have it,” said Erin Lutz, the children’s mother.
“We were walking to school and we heard ‘help,’” Meghan said. “It was faint.”
Meghan said they were a little scared, but overcame their apprehension to move in and help Buchan.
“I told Noah to stay there and then I went up and got a car to call the ambulance,” Meghan said.
Noah stayed with Buchan until he heard a car start next door and ran to that residence to get help.
“I heard a truck starting next door and then I got that truck and they helped,” Noah said. “I told them then somebody needed help and then they went over.”
Buchan was in hospital for eight days recovering from the injuries she suffered from the fall, but is now back at home still recovering from “wooziness” left over from the concussion, which she hopes will pass soon.
“Everything takes takes time,” she said.
She received a visit from the children who stopped by Sunday to check on her.
“They are just fabulous. They all came to the door yesterday to see if I was OK,” Buchan said.
Buchan now has a Lifeline medical alert device so she can call for help should she have another mishap and she has no intention of giving up living independently anytime soon.
“I had just celebrated my 90th birthday and I’m trying; I am. I’m still going to stay in my home.”