CANTON — A 10-year-old Leeds boy was credited Wednesday with alerting adults that a man fell off a ladder next door and was laying on the ground seriously injured.
Daniel Waite, 51, of 18 Hayford Court, suffered a broken hip and internal injuries in the 20-foot fall, his brother-in-law, Mark Blanchette of Canton, said on scene.
Waite was taken by Med-Care Ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston after two medical helicopters were unavailable.
A CMMC nursing supervisor said Waite was in stable condition at 5:10 p.m.
“Thank God for Jeremy,” Blanchette, who is Canton's assistant fire chief, said of Jeremy Record who was visiting his grandmother, Nancy Stevens.
Record said he was in his grandmother's front yard shortly before 1:30 p.m. when he heard the ladder Waite was using make wiggling sounds.
Waite was installing siding on the second-floor wall on the backside of his house.
“I saw the ladder wiggling, and then I saw Danny fall,” Record said. “I heard the ladder wiggling, and then, boom, he just fell right down.”
“I ran in the house and told my grammy that Danny just fell off the ladder,” he said. “I know that what matters is seconds.”
Record, Stevens and Record's aunt, Michelle Stevens, ran next door to help Waite.
“He rolled over, and we put a pillow under his head and tried to keep the sun out of his face and called 911,” Record said.
“He was just in so much pain that he was groaning. It was really crazy. Another inch and he would have hit the pile of wood when he fell.”
Blanchette, who just got out of work, heard the emergency dispatch call to Med-Care at 1:30 p.m. and quickly drove to the scene.
“He was conscious but was having difficulty breathing,” Blanchette said. “I think it knocked the wind out of him, but he had internal injuries, too.”
Canton firefighter Bob Rundstrom arrived to help the Med-Care Ambulance crew and Blanchette get Waite into the ambulance.
Walking alongside the ambulance gurney, Record held Waite's intravenous bottle.
Blanchette said that about 10 years ago in Turner, Waite was involved in a head-on collision and broke the same hip in the car accident.
“He has about six pins in his rebuilt hip, and he just had back surgery last month, so he's in rough shape,” Blanchette said.
“He doesn't ask for help. He does everything by himself.”
Blanchette said that had Record not seen Waite fall, the injured man could have lain behind his house for hours before anyone came to check on him.
“It could have been worse,” he said. “He could have landed on something that done him in.”
“I'm so glad Jeremy was paying attention,” Michelle Stevens said.