Fluke phone call saved Hartlepool councillor’s life

Mary Readman who received the phone call from Ged Hall.
Mary Readman who received the phone call from Ged Hall.

A COUNCILLOR recovering from a blood clot on the brain has sent his thanks to a woman who saved his life following a fluke phone call to her home.

Hartlepool councillor Ged Hall fell gravely ill at his home in Eamont Gardens, Hartlepool, but managed to get to his phone.

Ged Hall

Ged Hall

His family believe that as he tried to dial for help from someone he knew, he accidentally dialled the home telephone number of town woman Mary Readman – who Coun Hall has never met – who luckily was at home at the time.

The 56-year-old, from Jesmond Gardens, in Hartlepool, told the Mail that she answered the phone and initially thought it was a prank call as the person on the other end was making groaning and incoherent noises.

After the call ended, Mary’s instinct told her that something was wrong so she called the number back only to hear the same noises from the person on the other end.

Quick-thinking Mary then rang 999 and police traced the number back to an address in Eamont Gardens, and then had to break down the door where they found Coun Hall unconscious.

He was rushed to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where doctors performed surgery on him for a blood clot on the brain.

Coun Hall, who works as an accountant in town and represents the Burn Valley ward, is now making a steady recovery in hospital.

Today lifesaver Mary said: “I don’t have a clue how he phoned my telephone number, I wouldn’t know Ged even if he walked past me in the street.

“I just hope he makes a full recovery.”

She added: “It was so strange how it happened. I was just sat watching the telly and the phone went about 9.45pm. There was this groaning down the phone and I just kept saying ‘hello’ thinking it was a drunk or a prank.

“But it was the way the person on the other end put the phone down made me think something was wrong. It was an old-type receiver, not a mobile, and they were having trouble getting it back on the hook.

“I rang the number back and the person was still groaning. I asked if they were okay but they couldn’t say anything back to me.”

It was then that Mary rang the emergency services.

Mary, a foster carer, added: “The police rang me back just after midnight saying the man was in a bad medical state and thanked me for what I’d done.”

Mary wrote about the incident on social networking site Facebook, and as a friend of her daughter had heard about Coun Hall falling ill she suggested it could have been him.

So to check, Mary looked up his telephone number on the internet and it matched the one that she had dialled.

Modest Mary would not accept she was a hero, but admitted that if the emergency services had not got to him when they did “he may not have survived”.

“It’s nice to know that somebody got to him as a result of my actions,” she said.

Coun Hall’s family released a statement saying: “Ged is aware that somebody made a phone call to alert the authorities.

“He is extremely grateful for their actions and for having the forethought to think that somebody could be in distress and to raise the alarm.

“When Ged makes his recovery, he wants to thank Mary personally.”