AN elderly woman trapped in her home was rescued by a young man who scaled a seven-foot garden wall to reach her after he heard her desperate cries for help.
The woman was lying on the balcony of her Dublin apartment calling for help for what is believed to be 36 hours when the man heard her as he travelled to work.
Ray O'Higgins (25), of Willbrook Street in Rathfarnham, said he was walking along a road in the area to get a bus to the city centre when he head a voice calling faintly, 'Help me, help me, call the police'.
"I thought the voice might be coming from one of the houses along the road but I couldn't see anyone. I saw some people getting into their cars to drive away but they didn't appear to hear her cries," he told the Herald.
He finally climbed on to a seven-foot wall. He saw an elderly woman lying on the floor of a balcony. He jumped down into the grounds of the apartment and made his way up a staircase to the woman.
"She said 'Thank God' and explained she had been trying to get help for a day and a half. She had awoken to find she couldn't use her legs.
"She had crawled around her apartment floor but wasn't able to contact anyone. She was very thirsty and I brought her some water," he said.
He rang 999 and gardai and an ambulance crew arrived within minutes, followed by a fire engine crew. "She was in terrible pain. She thanked me and they took her to hospital," he said.
A work colleague of Ray contacted the Herald about the incident and stated that his action "demonstrates the importance of being a good citizen, the awareness of the needs of the elderly and the importance of acting in a situation and not leaving it to 'someone else'".
A spokeswoman for Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed that the woman was taken to Tallaght Hospital. She said the man is to be commended for his actions.
She added that members of the public should avoid risking their own safety, as far as possible when aiding someone else.