Something of a mystery man came to the rescue of a Lewes woman frightened and in agony after a bizarre accident.
The reluctant hero raced to the aid of Janey Vaughan when she broke her ankle and found herself alone and helpless in a local beauty spot.
She was walking two dogs on the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve when she suffered the injury in a remote corner of the 25-acre site.
Janey, a 57-year-old nurse, said: “Suddenly my foot hit something. I heard a snap, stumbled a couple of steps and then collapsed.
“I knew at once that I’d broken my ankle. The pain was horrendous and I couldn’t move.
“I started shouting ‘hello, hello’ ... and then ‘help, help!’ It was 9.30 in the morning but nobody was about and I started to get desperate.
“I managed to dial 999 on my mobile and called for an ambulance. Because I was alone I started to get really scared. I was within sight of Lewes but I might as well have been in the middle of a desert.”
Suddenly, after about 15 minutes, a small Jack Russell dog appeared – followed by a man she now knows as Tim.
Janey, of Friars Walk, Lewes, continued: “He rushed to my side and put his jacket around me. Using the phone, he helped to direct the ambulance crew to where I was.”
Tim then contacted her relatives and, as she was stretchered from the scene, took the two dogs back to her home and made sure they had access to the back garden and water. The Good Samaritan then let himself out and popped the keys back through the letterbox.
The dogs, a Nova Scotia Toller Retriever called Shirley and a Jack Russell mix called Tilly, belong to her sister. They were none the worse for the experience.
Janey, deputy manager at a nursing home in Brighton, said: “He was just an incredibly kind person. A really sweet guy.”
She is now recovering from her broken left ankle after treatment at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath and hopes to be back at work next week.
Her sister Sharon Lloyd, a dog trainer, said: “Janey was crying in agony when Tim happened to come along. It’s lucky that he did and he couldn’t have been more wonderful.”