Saved! The Grimsby OAP trapped in bathroom for 27 hours without vital medication
A DISABLED pensioner has credited these two workmen for "saving his life" – after becoming trapped in his bathroom for 27 hours without vital medication.
Diabetic Carl Barnett, 75, who served in the Royal Horse Guard, has undergone two heart bypasses after suffering heart failure and must take medicine every day.
He became stuck when the bathroom door shut and locked him in on the first floor at his home in Rosemary Avenue, Grimsby.
He was so distressed he tried to scrape away the lock with a pair of scissors, and in desperation, tied himself to the radiator to keep upright in case he passed out.
He was rescued 27 hours later, when workmen in the flat below heard him shouting for help.
The incident has today prompted health and older people's organisations to urge everyone to look after their neighbours.
Mr Barnett said: "I went into the bathroom at about 9am, and as I put the towel on the rack, I knocked the door and it locked shut behind me.
"By the evening I was exhausted. I must have been hallucinating, because I tried to use a pair of scissors to scrape away the lock.
"It became very cold as I didn't have the heating on and I was wearing only my underpants and a towel.
"I was in shock; I thought this was the end for me.
"They tell me it was about noon the following day when the two workmen turned up downstairs to work on the flat below.
"They started getting their tools out in the garden so I started to hysterically shout at them.
"I must have made some sense as they quickly got out the ladder and one of them slipped through a small window to help me.
"He smashed the door and got me to warm up, while he went downstairs to let in his friend.
"When he broke the door down, I felt so much relief – I had never been happier in my life. If they hadn't shown up or not heard me, I could have died in there – and I probably wouldn't have been found for days."
The pensioner must follow a strict medical regime throughout the day to manage his health problems and also attends hospital on a nearly-daily basis.
He explained: "I have to take tablets throughout the day at strict times and I'm always at the hospital for appointments.
"If I miss any of my medication it can cause a lot of problems.
"The workmen are my heroes. They wouldn't take my thanks. I wanted to give them money but they wouldn't accept it; they just said they would hope anyone would do the same for their family."
The heroes are Andy Taff, 47, and Shaun Hardy, 33, both from Cleethorpes.
Andy said: "We turned up to the job when we heard the old boy shouting.
"Shaun shot up a ladder and because he's slim, he managed to squeeze through a small window.
"The old man thought he was going to die. We got him out and dressed while we waited for an ambulance. He was just so relieved to be safe."
"He had no medication the whole time he was in there. When the paramedics arrived, we turned to each other and said 'That's our good deed done for the day'."
Mr Barnett spent a night in hospital and has thankfully suffered no after-effects.
Sheila Coulson, chief officer at Age UK in Grimsby, said: "This just goes to show how important it is to be a good neighbour, especially at this time of year when you might not see people out and about.
"If you have not seen you neighbour or if you would usually hear them moving about or the television on, and haven't done, just give them a knock and make sure they are safe and warm, and maybe offer to help them with their shopping."
Martin Wakefield, project manager for Older Peoples Health and Wellbeing at the Care Plus Group, added: "We all have an elderly person who lives nearby. We all need to keep an eye each other to prevent situations like this happening. If you haven't seen someone or your are concerned for them, especially with the bad weather, just go and knock on their door.
"We live in a very insular society, and many have lost the community spirit. We just want people to look out for their vulnerable neighbours to so people are not forgotten."