A Rochford resident has hailed her neighbours for helping her husband after a fall during the pandemic.

Barry Stoll, 86, suffers from an age-related imbalance problem and uses a crutch for support.

However, Barry toppled over when unloading shopping from the boot of his car and could not get back to his feet.

Neighbours on Rochefort Drive came to Barry’s rescue and his wife, Margaret, has praised their heroic efforts for getting Barry back to his feet and making sure he had not suffered a serious injury.

Margaret, 85, said: “Our main problem since last March has revolved around getting groceries delivered.

“In normal times, we always used to do online grocery shopping from Tesco and their delivery drivers would bring the shopping to our kitchen table, but that can’t happen anymore because of Covid.

“This week, we could only organise a click and collect order from Waitrose at 6pm. Doing this after dark turned out not to be a good idea.

“While unloading bags of groceries from the boot, Barry toppled over and sat down on the pavement, unable to get up.

“He has had extensive leg surgery, undergone a knee replacement three times and had it reconstructed at Oxford with titanium and plastic surgery.

“However, our neighbours all rushed out to help, even in these testing times, and we’re very grateful.

“Jeanette and Peter Howie, Shirley Mackenzie and Dave were our heroes.

“Dave came along and picked my 15 stone husband off the pavement as if he was a rag doll!”

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Barry and Margaret have lived on Rochefort Drive since 1990 and got married in January 2002.

With members of the family based as far away as the Midlands, the couple have had to rely on their neighbours’ support in key moments.

Margaret added: “If Barry falls over indoors, he needs help to stand up.

“The trouble is, as he says, he has a young brain in an old body.

“Not only that, but both of us have had extensive orthopaedic surgery over the years and if we fall down, we can’t get up.

“I would like to thank all our neighbours in Rochefort Drive who come to the rescue.”

Barry is also keen to show his gratitude to the selfless Rochford residents who have come to his aid throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “I suffer from an age-related imbalance problem, so I use a crutch but still manage to fall over occasionally.

“That’s when the neighbours come to my rescue and I’m incredibly grateful.

“NHS paramedics have also been my heroes at times and I’m eternally grateful for everything they do.”

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