RON Bedford Snr does not know where he would be today without the help of two good Samaritans.
The 86-year-old collapsed while walking about one month ago. The two schoolgirls came to his aid and took him to hospital.
But the girls didn’t leave it there – they proceeded to check in on him, drive his wife home from hospital that evening, and have visited the pair a few times since.
Mr Bedford contacted The Courier so he could publicly thank the two Ballarat Clarendon College students Grace Curran, 17, and Cassie Jones, 18.
“It was a Saturday afternoon and I usually watch the footy, but there was no footy so I went for a walk,” Mr Bedford said.
“I went out and I was feeling really good, I even left my walking stick at home and when I realised I didn’t go back to get it.”
Mr Bedford doesn’t remember much of what happened after that, when he had a heart attack and fell to the concrete outside his house, breaking his cheek bone and fracturing his ribs down his left side.
Aspiring nurse Grace and her friend Cassie noticed Mr Bedford on Sim Street in Wendouree when they were travelling to Cassie’s mother’s house.
“I saw a man sitting on the concrete and I asked Cassie to pull over,” she said.
“It was quite upsetting, he wasn’t in a good state. When I saw the oranges and honey spilled on the footpath, I figured he had come back from the shops and had a fall.”
Mr Bedford said he didn’t know how long he was on the ground for before help arrived.
“I don’t remember but apparently I was talking to them and told them where my keys were and I told them my wife was in the back room,” he said.
The girls then drove Mr Bedford and his wife Yvonne to Ballarat Base Hospital.
Grace said she didn’t consider herself a hero for her actions on the day.
“I did what any 17-year-old girl would do,” she said.
“I never second-guessed it. An elderly man was hurt and we did everything we could to make sure he was okay.”
Mr Bedford has been home almost three weeks and is still regaining his confidence.
“My legs are still a bit shaky,” he said.
“I love my walking. I do it a lot, or at least I used too. But I’ll be out there again soon.”
The fall was a result of a problem with his heart - with this his third heart attack - and he has also suffered a stroke.
“I just can’t get over the kindness they have shown me. They’ve come and spent time with us and taken care of us as if they were our children.
“They just went out of their way to help me, and I don’t know why. I was so lucky. I hope they do well in the lives they have chosen.”
Mr and Mrs Bedford said the girls were welcome to their homes at any time.