86yr-old braves freezing cold after getting scooter stuck in mud for 16hrs!November 30th, 2008 - 2:00 pm ICT by ANI
London, November 30 (ANI): An octogenarian war veteran spent 16 hours marooned in his scooter after it stuck in a patch of mud, and braved freezing cold as temperatures plummeted overnight.
Robert Calloway, an 86-year-old former rear gunner and retired engineer, was discovered by a dog walker who spotted him the following morning.
He had been to church and was on his way home when he decided to take a short cut through the local park, but he ended up getting his scooter stuck.
Since he had forgotten to take his mobile phone out, he could not call anyone for help.
It was only at 9am the following day that he heard a dog barking, and called out for help.
He was taken to hospital with an infection he developed during a sleepless night, and is presently recovering at home.
“He has incredible strength. He was off the beaten track; it was amazing that anybody saw him. He could have been stuck there for even longer and I hate to think what could have happened then,” the Telegraph quoted his daughter Jan Critchley, a parish clerk, as saying.
The Calloway family have urged his mystery rescuer to come forward so that they could thank him.
“I was going across a bridge when I turned left and got stuck fast in the mud. It got very cold and it was quite a frightening experience. I won”t go there again in the dark,” Calloway said:
His granddaughter, Ally Critchley, 26, a data analyst, said: “He has told us he wanted to see daylight so much and kept praying for help. It is a miracle he didn”t get frostbite. Luckily he heard a dog barking and guessed it must have been a dog walker. He started calling for help and a man found him.”
She revealed that her grandfather had declined to talk about his experience on Sunday night in detail.
According to her, Calloway had been to his local church in Crawley, West Sussex on Sunday, and became stuck by a lake while he was returning home.
“Knowing him he probably didn”t stick to the normal paths and ignored the limits of his mobility scooter. Because it was getting dark and there were no walkers, no-one passed him until the next morning. He was very unfortunate. He has a mobile phone but he never takes it with him,” she said.
“It seems he tried to get off the scooter but he is a bit unstable on his feet and his shoes got stuck in the mud. When we saw his clothes his trousers were muddy from the knee downwards and were soaking wet.”
“My mum had a call from the hospital saying he had been found and that he was ok.
“He was wearing a vest, a long sleeved shirt, a blazer for church, and a jacket on top of that. The layers he had, even though they were not waterproof, were enough to keep him conscious.”
“We really want to thank the person who found him and took him to safety. My grandfather is a very lucky man,” she added.
Calloway has also survived a Second World War bomb blast, a gas leak, and a garage explosion.
He has trouble walking and has undergone a hip replacement, which is why he uses a mobility scooter with a top speed of 8mph. (ANI)
Tags: ally, beaten track, braves, calloway family, crawley west sussex, data analyst, frostbite, granddaughter, local church, local park, miracle, mobile phone, mud, rear gunner, returning home, scooter, sleepless night, sussex, telegraph, war veteran