Stranger’s act of kindness saves woman’s life as storms batter Blackpool

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Janice McColm was knocked unconscious in a pool of blood

 

Janice and Bill McColm
Janice and Bill McColm

A Good Samaritan stepped in to help a woman who fell and banged her head as storms battered Blackpool.

Janice McColm banged her head on the pavement as she succumbed to high winds near the seafront, leaving a “massacre” style scene behind her. The charity worker, 64, was drifting in and out of consciousness but faced a 45 minute wait for an ambulance in grim weather conditions on November 26.

Having recently suffered a heart attack, Janice takes blood thinning medicine which meant that she was bleeding even more profusely than normal. As husband Bill feared how they could move her to safety, Jack Hill pulled over and got out of his car to help.

Despite being greeted by a scene resembling a horror film, Jack, 27, insisted that Janice and Bill come in his car to get to hospital more quickly. He even offered to wait at the hospital to take them back to their hotel and days later refused to accept any payment to cover the cost of cleaning the blood and vomit from his car.

Janice McColm
Janice McColm was knocked unconscious when she fell during a storm

Janice went on to spend four nights in hospital having suffered a small bleed on the brain. After getting back home to Middlesbrough, she managed to track down Jack on Facebook and wants to publicly thank him for his kind efforts.

Speaking to LancsLive, she suggested he should be given the freedom of Blackpool Tower in honour of his kind efforts.

Janice said: “We’d come to Blackpool for a weekend. We came with my brother and his wife. We’d been for a Wetherspoons, I’d had three glasses of wine and a meal and we were going back to the hotel at the far end.

“The wind was wild so we went onto the back streets. My sister-in-law is only slight so I said to my husband ‘you’d best go and help Andrew with Alison’, not thinking that I’d also struggle.

“The last thing I remember is I was running back and the rest my husband has told me. I was going backwards towards the road, I fell onto the road, he said I was unconscious. He said he managed to stand me up and I fell again.”

It was at that point that Joe drove past and, while waiting at traffic lights, spotted Janice on the floor and her family stood around her looking concerned.

Jack, who works at The IT Dept in Leyland, was driving home from work with a takeaway dinner in the car but said he never thought twice about stopping.

He said: “I was stopped at the lights by Rigby Road, I could see a woman on the ground with people around her.

“She had blood all around her, I’d never seen anything like it. I rang an ambulance and it was a 45 minute wait so I thought with the storm and her age, she couldn’t wait that long.

Jack Hill has been dubbed a 'hero' after his amazing act of kindness
Jack Hill has been dubbed a ‘hero’ after his amazing act of kindness

Jack and Bill helped Janice into the car before driving “like an idiot” to hospital and running inside to alert two paramedics about her condition.

Spotting Bill’s nervousness, Jack attempted to keep him calm during the drive and wait for medical help.

He said: “She was drifting in and out of consciousness and I could tell he was terrified.

“I thought he was from Middlesbrough so I was talking about Juninho, the footballer, just for a bit of normality.”

Reflecting on the experience, Jack said he didn’t believe he had done anything extraordinary and didn’t even tell his brother when he finally got home.

“If someone needs help, I’ll help them.

“I’ve done mental health nights in town but I’ve never been in a situation like this before.

“Lots of people have messaged me but to me, that was a normal thing to do.

“If you see someone struggling and you can help, then common courtesy is to go help.

“I got her there in one piece, that’s all that matters.”

Janice spoke to LancsLive in the hope of getting more recognition for Jack’s good deed and hopes to put him forward for a community award.

She said: “A lot of people won’t stop, especially at that time of night or they might just think ‘oh she’s had too much to drink’ or whatever.

“He was really, really kind, to me and my husband. I just think he was a real hero, he should have the freedom of Blackpool Tower for a year.

“For me, he’s the pride of Blackpool.”