Daughter seeks kind helpers who 'saved dad's life' after "horrific" fall in Rhyl

Reporter:

Duncan Rieder

The daughter of an 81-year-old man seriously injured in a fall believes a number of Good Samaritans who raced to help him might have saved his life.

Dennis Griffiths suffered a badly broken arm and his ear was almost severed after he fell by the trolley rack outside Aldi in Wellington Road, Rhyl, leaving him helpless for about 45 minutes.

Bleeding heavily, he is believed to have gone into shock and was unable to move as he lay in the cold.

Now his daughter, Andrea Griffiths-Rich, has praised those who rushed to her father’s aid and is eager to trace them all in order to thank them personally.

Mrs Griffiths-Rich, 45, said: “Without everybody’s help, he might not be here today. I dread to think what might have happened.

“It just goes to show that there’s good and bad in every town. People love to knock Rhyl but the community goodwill right up until the ambulance and the staff at Aldi were brilliant.”

Mr Griffiths, of Grange Road, Rhyl, was visiting Aldi with his granddaughter, Hannah Griffiths, 28, and his great-grandchildren, Jessica, 10, and Jake, four, on the afternoon of November 28 when he slipped on the kerb at the shop’s entrance

Mrs Griffiths-Rich, who arrived on scene shortly afterwards, said: “His ear was hanging off and there was blood everywhere.

“There were people throwing coats on him to keep him warm, sun-visors – one person even used a brand new quilt. There had been a heavy downpour in the night and it was bitterly cold.”

His daughter explained that Mr Griffiths was well known around Rhyl, having been the owner of the town’s former Olympics Gym and having appeared four times on the cult 1970s TV game show, It’s A Knockout.

But she said: “Passers-by couldn’t have known it was him underneath the jackets and there were people who didn’t know the family helping.”

She added: “The store manager, and assistant manager organised the staff to lend their Aldi jackets and the store manager held a gauze to my father’s ear.

“Three young lads on bikes, somewhere between 15 and 16, stopped, and went into Aldi to buy sweets for my grandchildren who were besides themselves. We think one of the lads might have been called Kyle.

“It’s amazing. You’d expect kids to ride past, but they didn’t interfere. They just helped out.

“A woman waited the entire time with my grandson to try and keep him calm while we waited for the ambulance.”

Another man cradled Mr Griffiths head and spoke to him for about 40 minutes, trying to make sure he stayed conscious.

Mrs Griffiths-Rich said: “I felt so sorry for the man. He was so wobbly when he stood up because it was so cold on the floor and was in an uncomfortable, awful position.”

Mr Griffiths was taken to Glan Clwyd Hospital by ambulance and required surgery on his right ear – as staff were unable to stitch it back on in the emergency unit – and treatment the break to his right upper arm bone.

“I don’t think he realises yet how many people have helped. The doctors have said he’ll be healing for three to six months and he’s aching like mad.”

Anyone with information regarding the identities of those who helped Mr Griffiths is asked to email duncan.rieder@nwn.co.uk.

Email:

duncan.rieder@nwn.co.uk

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