Vet­eran praises passers-by who came to his res­cue when wheelchair broke

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - ABBY BOLTER abby.bolter@waleson­

A DIS­ABLED vet­eran left stranded when his wheelchair broke down has praised the four “knights in shin­ing ar­mour” who came to his res­cue.

The strangers stepped in when the tyre came off one of the wheel rims on 53-year-old Tom Weaver’s pow­ered chair.

Not only did their help get him mov­ing and into the pub for a meal, it also pre­vented him be­ing robbed of his in­de­pen­dence at home.

“Brid­gend might have a bad rep­u­ta­tion at times but we also have some great lo­cal heroes,” said Tom, who lives in Cefn Glas, Brid­gend.

“They couldn’t do enough for me. If it hadn’t been for them so­cial ser­vices would have had to look af­ter me un­til wheelchair ser­vices could have come out and fixed my chair be­cause if I don’t have it I can’t get around at home.”

Tom is a for­mer cor­po­ral in the Royal Corps of Sig­nals and Prince of Wales Own Reg­i­ment of York­shire.

But he was com­pletely paral­ysed down his left side and suf­fered some sight loss af­ter suf­fer­ing a se­vere brain haem­or­rhage in June 2012.

He is known in Brid­gend for help­ing to or­gan­ise an an­nual ran­dom act of kind­ness when he and oth­ers hand out ev­ery­thing from choco­lates to Sub­way meals and tram­po­line park tick­ets to strangers.

Tom was try­ing to get onto the pave­ment out­side Wether­spoons in Brid­gend town cen­tre on Satur­day evening when the tyre came off one of his wheel rims.

He said: “I didn’t know what to do and I felt like my whole world had come to an abrupt end.

“I can’t walk at all as I’m se­verely dis­abled so if my wheelchair breaks down it would be like some­one tak­ing your legs away.

“There I was out­side Wether­spoons stranded like a fish out of the wa­ter when four fan­tas­tic guys came to my res­cue like knights in shin­ing ar­mour.”

Tom said three were off­duty Wether­spoon staff – Conor Bren­nand, El­liot Wil­liams and Ivan Ris­tic.

Terry How­ells was also pass­ing in his car and pulled over to help.

They trans­ferred Tom to a chair brought from the pub and then turned his wheelchair over and used a knife to lever the tyre back on.

“I would’ve been re­ally stuck,” said Tom.

“I can’t thank them enough. Noth­ing was too much trou­ble and they wouldn’t even let me buy them a drink.”

Dis­abled vet­eran Tom Weaver, from Brid­gend, with Terry How­ells, Conor Bren­nand, El­liot Wil­liams and Ivan Ris­tic who came to Mr Weaver’s res­cue when a tyre came off his wheelchair

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