An unassuming Greymouth boy has been hailed as a good Samaritan after he stopped to help a senior citizen who fell and bashed his head.
Joel Dash was walking past Archie Campbell's Marsden Rd home of 60 years on September 25 when he saw the 85-year-old lying on the ground at the steps of his house, covered in blood from a nasty head wound. Mr Campbell had apparently tripped while going out to collect his paper.
Joel, a St Patrick's Primary School pupil, was today honoured at a special assembly with a certificate acknowledging his "kindness, compassion, caring and respect" by the family of Mr Campbell, who later died.
Mr Campbell's daughter Leslie Holland said Joel had been kind and brave in a remarkable way to her father in his moment of desperate need.
"We're very impressed that an 11-year-old went out of his way to help someone he didn't even know," Mrs Holland said in an emotional address to Joel's school peers today.
Mr Campbell was covered in blood and was unable to get to his feet, but Joel did not think twice.
He found a way to help the injured man up and into his house before going home and telling his mother. They went back together and helped Mr Campbell, alerting his family.
Joel was today quietly overwhelmed by the attention.
"I just went up to help him. When I had a closer look, there was a big bruise bursting out with blood," he said.
The 11-year-old said he tried to lift Mr Campbell without success but he found a way.
"I got a chair from inside and helped him on to the chair."
From there he was able to help Mr Campbell inside to clean up before running to his home nearby.
Mr Campbell never got to thank the 11-year-old. He was frail and unwell at the time of his fall, and died two weeks later, on October 9.
However, his son Peter said he was anxious that his rescuer be given a proper thanks.
"He was so grateful," Mr Campbell said. "He wanted to be able to acknowledge Joel and thank him for what he had done, and he wasn't able to do that himself."
What Joel did without a second thought for himself was a "good news story", particularly in light of negative reports these days of young people not caring.
"He didn't think, he didn't do a runner, he went and helped, pretty amazing as far as we're concerned."
- Greymouth Star