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