Some good Samaritans helped emergency workers find an elderly man who fell down a bank at Walmart Saturday afternoon.
Robert Greene Jr., of Mount Airy, said he arrived at the store with his father Bob and cousin Tiffany. They parked around the right-hand side near the automotive entrance.
A woman came up and asked if they had seen her husband. They had a wheelchair lift on their vehicle, and she thought he was using a cane to get from the cab around to the lift while she was away from the truck. When she came back, he was gone.
Greene said they thought they heard some sound coming from nearby, but it could have been some animal. When they left the parking lot into some bushes, he said he saw the cane next to a tree, but not the man.
The Greenes looked down a sharp embankment and saw the senior citizen at the bottom.
It looked like it was about 50 feet to the bottom and too steep to help him back up, said Greene.
John Shelton, emergency services director, said 911 received a call for help around 4:30 p.m. EMS, rescue squad and local fire department personnel all turned out to assist.
The emergency workers took a page from their mountain rescue training by lowering a basket stretcher down to the patient where he could be strapped in and pulled up by a winch.
Greene said the old man was roughed up by falling down through brush and limbs, but was awake. Greene said the patient explained that he had a sudden urgent need to urinate and didn’t think he could make it inside, so he was going to step around behind some bushes to go, but the ground fell away sharply and he lost his balance.
Shelton said there were no visible bone fractures, but in order to ensure there were none, the patient was transported to Northern Hospital of Surry County for examination.