Pensioner hails Stevenage hero for saving his life after fall

Paul Wilding, a Compassionate Neighbour at Garden House Hospice, came to the resue of 78-year-old Ji

Paul Wilding, a Compassionate Neighbour at Garden House Hospice, came to the resue of 78-year-old Jim Pryce who had become trapped in his home. Picture: Deborah Otteridge - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage man has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a 78-year-old pensioner who became trapped in his home after a fall.

Paul Wilding, who volunteers in the Stevenage area as a 'compassionate neighbour' for Garden House Hospice Care, became worried about Jim Pryce's welfare after he failed to return calls over a number of days at the end of September.

Paul drove to Jim's house to check up on him but, when no one answered the door, gut instinct told him something wasn't right and he contacted the police.

Paul said: "When Jim didn't answer my calls from Wednesday evening, I became concerned and went to his house on the Saturday morning to see if he was OK.

"We found poor Jim trapped between his bed and the wall after rolling off the bed on the Wednesday evening.

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"He was very frail, his throat was extremely dry and he was very shaken. Thankfully he is now recovering in hospital."

Jim, from Knebworth - who lives alone - says that Paul's quick thinking saved his life.

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"I didn't think I was going to make it. I couldn't get up and I felt shattered. All I can say is thank God for Paul - he was my god that day," he said.

Paul first met Jim at a weekly community hub organised by Garden House Hospice Care every Monday at Stevenage Community Arts Centre.

Compassionate Neighbours is a scheme organised by the Letchworth-based hospice where volunteers offer support and companionship to members who are socially isolated or suffering from a life-limiting illness.

Paul signed up to be a compassionate neighbour after his wife Carole passed away at Garden House in August 2017, and he began to keep in contact with Jim who also sadly lost his partner two years ago.

"The Compassionate Neighbours scheme has meant the world to me," said Paul.

"It has supported me so much and keeps me going - it has been a great help since my wife died. I looked after her when she was ill, so I love helping other people."

Garden House Hospice Care is currently celebrating national Hospice Care Week, which runs from October 7 to 13.

The hospice aims to raise £5 million a year for specialist palliative care to a community of 230,000 people in North Herts, Stevenage, and surrounding areas.

If you would like to support the hospice please contact the fundraising team on 01462 679540 or go online at

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