A dying man was saved by the actions of a woman he had phoned by accident – even though she mistook him for a sex pest.
Ged Hall, 59, was left lying semi-conscious on the floor of his home in Hartlepool after suffering a blood clot on his brain at around 7.30am on Friday 12 July last year.
The accountant and Labour councillor eventually managed to crawl to the phone and tried to call someone he knew for help, but instead mistakenly phoned Mary Readman, who lives two miles away.
The 56-year-old mother-of-three initially thought she had been targeted by a pervert as Mr Hall was only capable of communicating by groaning.
But when the line went dead, Ms Readman became concerned and phoned him back.
After she heard more groaning, she realised something more serious was wrong and contacted the police.
Officers kicked down Mr Hall's door and discovered him unconscious on the floor. He was rushed to James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where surgeons were able to save his life.
He underwent three operations during his three-month stay, which included five days in intensive care.
And now that he is back on his feet, this week Mr Hall finally came face-to-face with the stranger who saved his life, the Hartlepool Mail reported.
Arriving at Ms Readman’s house, Mr Hall told her: “I owe you everything.
“If it wasn’t for what you did, and when you did it, I might not have pulled through.”
Ms Readman also told her side of the story: “I was watching television and it was 9.45pm on the Saturday night when the phone just went. I thought it was a crank call but it was the way you put the receiver down that got me thinking 'should I call the police'.”
She said, as she thought about what had happened afterwards, she posted a message on Facebook saying: “I think I might have saved someone’s life.”
She added: “I don’t think I did anything remarkable, but the next thing I knew, the police left a message on my phone saying thank you and that they’d got to the address of the occupant who needed medical attention.”
Mr Hall said: “I have made amazing progress in the last six months. They say I will get completely better within two years. That is down to you.”