“My angels”: 80-year-old woman rescued at home after falling and breaking her hip
An 80-year-old woman who broke her hip and was unable to move in her home for four days has been rescued by police with the help of a Care Army volunteer.
Erika Freingruber fell at her Beaudesert house, south of Brisbane, at the end of April.
Paul Mahoney, a member of the newly formed Care Army Community Recovery team, called Beaudesert police on April 23 to request a welfare check after not being able to contact Freingruber.
“I had some concerns because when I spoke to Erika a few days beforehand, she had really been on the ball,” Mahoney said.
“I rang her and couldn’t contact her and then I also contacted her friend who had not been able to contact her either, so that’s when I rang the police.”
Police bodycam footage showed constables Glenn Engels and Max Gillett breaking into Freingruber’s home after hearing her calling for help.
Freingruber is now recovering in hospital. “You’re my lifesavers, my angels, not policemen, my angels,” she told the two officers, who visited her at Brisbane’s QEII Hospital.
“Can you imagine a week, nearly a week lying there, without help day and night?
“Every doctor who came here said, ‘You don’t know how lucky you are that you are alive’.”
Freingruber had previously been keeping regular contact with the Care Army Community Recovery team, a new organisation formed by the Queensland State Government to help monitor the elderly and vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk praised the work of the police department and the Care Army.
“I am extremely grateful to the member of the Care Army who raised the alarm when Erika couldn’t be contacted,” she said.
“And as for the police, I can’t say enough about the urgency, professionalism and compassion they brought to bear in going to Erika’s aid.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the incident highlighted the importance of checking up on vulnerable people in the community.
“Without the state government initiative of the Care Army, police probably would not have known Erika needed help,” Ryan said.
“In the darkness don’t forget, we can still show a little bit of kindness, compassion and care.”
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