80 year old found trapped in briars after heatwave fall
AN 80-year-old man was found alive, but unable to move and trapped in a bed of briars following a three-hour search on one of the hottest days of the year.
Samuel Ashe's distraught family, with gardai and neighbours, has started a frantic search for him when he failed to return to his home in Ballyhogue, Galbally after he went to see his granddaughter's pony in a nearby field.
'We're dead lucky we found him,' said Mr Ashe's son in law Liam Dillon, whose wife Tina and sister in law Maria found the 80 year old, suffering from the effects of the searing heat, trapped in the briars.
'We were worried about him because of the heat of the day,' said Tina.
'He's grand, he's fine now,' she said.
Liam said Mr Ashe was discharged from hospital at midnight last Tuesday night and was 'back to normal' following his ordeal.
Earlier that day, Mr Ashe had turned down a shopping trip to Wexford town and instead stayed home at Ballyhogue before climbing a roadside fence to visit his 16-year-old granddaughter's pet pony Rosie.
His daughter Tina, a popular nurse in the area, and other family members had earlier searched the field where he lay, unaware that he was lying in the ditch behind the fence as they passed him by during numerous efforts to locate him.
The owner of the field had seen him three hours earlier at just after 11 a.m. patting the pony on the head. It seems that in his effort to climb back over the fence following his visit to Rosie, he fell backwards into the briars and was unable to move or call out to anyone although he was just over the fence beside the busy roadway.
After he was found, two gardai moved him into the shade and family and neighbours comforted him, giving him water and talking with him while awaiting the arrival of an ambulance and paramedics.
A local man said that about 3 p.m. after finding Mr Ashe alive, his family and the gardai called for an ambulance. As no ambulance had arrived half an hour later, a neighbour phoned a friend of his in the HSE who told him that the local ambulance crew members were unable to make contact with ambulance control and that at that time, the staff were undergoing a handover of shifts and rosters while an available crew was attending an accident elsewhere in the county. 'The ambulance arrived at about 3.45 p.m.