Back in June of this year I listed a nice country home on 38 acres. The owner, Karl, was an elderly gentleman who lived there with his german shepherd named Sheeba. When I listed the property I met one of his daughters and her husband who were visiting from the Newmarket area, some 2 1/2 hours drive away. On a Saturday evening, within a couple of weeks of listing the property, I received a call from Karl's daughter asking if I had been in contact with Karl in the past week as she had not heard from him and could not contact him. I told her that I had emailed him earlier in the week but did not receive a reply. I sensed some urgency in her voice so I suggested that I drive over to his house and see how he was doing. Upon driving up to the house I saw both of his cars and suddenly had a bad feeling in my gut. As I walked to the door Sheeba came out from the bush and started barking then turned around and headed back in the bush. I turned and followed her down the trail and quickly found Karl lying on the ground and calling for help. He was obviously in need of some medical attention and was asking for water. I told him I would call the EMS and get him some water so I left him to go back to the house. Moments later when I returned I gave him some water and he told me that he thought his back was broken from a tree that fell on him while he was cutting firewood. It happened about 200 feet from where he was laying on the ground. He said he was able to crawl this far and no more due to his injuries. Then he told me that he had been lying in that spot since Tuesday morning. It was now Saturday night at 8 pm! The EMS called me back at that time to let me know the ambulance had been dispatched and I passed on the information that the injured party said he had been there since Tuesday morning. They could not believe it and said the victim was likely in shock and was wrong about the dates. The EMS arrived shortly after the phone call and so did the local fire rescue unit. Within 30 minutes they had Karl ready to be tranferred to the hospital. They took him to Huntville but doctors there sent him down to the trauma unit at Sunnybrook as they were not prepared to deal with his injuries there. The final diagnosis was two broken vertibrae, eight broken ribs, and a dislocated hip. And he had been there for over four days waiting for help. I guess there are a couple of lessons to be learned here. First, don't go off in the bush to cut firewood without letting someone know where you are or without a cell phone. Second, if a request about the whereabouts of a client comes your way follow up on it. You just may save someone's life.
A close call
- November 27, 2012
CENTURY 21 Blue Sky Region Realty Inc., Brokerage*