Witnesham: Hero grocery delivery man saves pensioner’s life

WITNESHAM: As 85-year-old Ivan Woodcock ordered his shopping online last week, he had no idea it would save his life.

When the Sainsbury’s delivery driver turned up to drop off his weekly groceries on Saturday, he realised something was wrong.

Milk bottles were still on the doorstep of the Witnesham house, even though it was nearly lunchtime, and newspapers and post could be seen piling up inside.

Driver Alan Richardson said: “I was a bit concerned. He’s a really nice old boy, and he loves to have a little chat when I come round.

“But I was shouting through the letter box and there was no reply.

“We’re supposed to put a card through the letter box if we can’t get an answer, but I just got that niggling feeling that something was wrong.”

The 39-year-old got a key from Mr Woodcock’s neighbour but, because it was bolted from the inside, had to force his way inside.

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He rushed upstairs to find the 85-year-old in bed, having suffered a suspected stroke.

The pensioner has lived alone since his wife died 18 years ago and it is thought he had been unable to call for help after falling ill on Thursday night – 36 hours before he was found.

Mr Richardson added: “He looked at me and he was kind of talking, but he wasn’t really with it. The ambulance was really good. They got there really quickly.

“The paramedics said he was very dehydrated and we probably got there just in time. Any longer and it wouldn’t have been good news.”

Mr Richardson put together a bag of clothes and toiletries while paramedics tended to Mr Woodcock.

He was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment and is now on the road to recovery.

His daughter, 54-year-old Jane Woodcock, praised the delivery driver for his swift action which she said makes him a “hero”.

She added: “My brother and I are hugely grateful to him for his compassion and the fact that he did it without any prompting. There was no health and safety rubbish – just a genuine concern for someone else.

“It would have been very easy for him to think he couldn’t deliver the shopping and gone away.

“But if it wasn’t for him, I just don’t know what would have happened.

“I can’t praise him more highly. We are lucky there was a hero there to save him.”

A Sainsbury spokesperson said: “We’re so proud of the heroic action that Alan took to make sure that Mr Woodcock got to hospital in time. At Sainsbury’s we will always go the extra mile to help our customers – under any circumstances.

“We wish Mr Woodcock a speedy recovery.”

n What do you think of the driver’s actions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or uou can e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.