Work­ers to the res­cue

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

PHILIP Raw­son wants to thank the men who came to his aid, af­ter he had crawled and pushed his elec­tric wheel­chair 6 me­tres when it broke down.

The two road work­ers hoisted up his wheel­chair onto the back of their truck and drove him safely back to El­iz­a­beth Knox Home and Hos­pi­tal, when they found him stranded last week.

Raw­son would like to of­fer them a ‘‘heart­felt thanks’’.

‘‘They treated me with ab­so­lute dig­nity.

‘‘I was in an un­pleas­ant state to be around and they to­tally treated me just per­fectly,’’ he says.

‘‘It was clearly out of their way and yet they helped me out and that was awe­some.’’

The 44-year-old, who has spina bi­fida, went out for a trip around the block in Ep­som when his chair came to a halt along the pedes­trian ac­cess to the Mt St John Domain on Mar­ket Rd.

‘‘I never in­tended to go that far, but I thought I would go a lit­tle bit of the way and just poke my nose around,’’ he says.

‘‘The chair just died and I was off the main foot­path – far enough that I was think­ing ‘what do I do?’’’

Raw­son says he got on the the ground and man­aged to push the 150 kilo­gram chair about 6 me­tres down the path be­fore spot­ting the men and shout­ing for help.

‘‘With­out power the wheels lock in place and I was push­ing it inch by inch down this path. I was there for about half an hour and had al­most made it to the foot­path.’’

The chair has bro­ken down be­fore, but al­ways ei­ther at The chair just died and I was off the main foot­path – far enough that I was think­ing ‘what do I do?’ home or in a crowded public place, he says.

Raw­son had felt con­fi­dent go­ing up the path­way un­til the chair stopped him in his tracks.

‘‘I’m not a pan­icker but af­ter a while the panic set in. In the short term it has put me off. I know I’ll get over it, but this week it has put me off.’’

The two men ran over to help when they heard him shout out.

He asked them if they could go fetch his man­ual wheel­chair from the Ran­furly Rd care home, but they said they could do one bet­ter.

‘‘Be­fore I knew it they said they could hoist up my chair on to the back of the truck and put me in the cab.’’

The two men went back to work be­fore he could prop­erly thank them and Raw­son says he is un­sure what com­pany they are from.

The wheel­chair is now up and run­ning again and Raw­son says he will soon be back out ex­plor­ing the neigh­bour­hood.

Photo: JESS LEE

Heart­felt thanks: Philip Raw­son is keen to thank the two men who helped him when his elec­tric wheel­chair broke down in Ep­som.

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