A life was saved in Merrickville last week, thanks to a couple from Ottawa who just happened to be in the right place at the right time. On Wednesday, January 6, Isabel Truman and Jason Stelzer came to Merrickville to pick up Jason’s daughter who he shares custody of with his ex. They usually pick her up at the parking lot across from the Yellow Canoe. They were a few minutes early, so they decided to take a stroll in the park and, as they approached the lock, they noticed there was a woman at the bottom leaning against the wall. “It took us a few seconds to realize that she hadn’t just climbed in there,” Isabel says.
As soon as they realized the lady was stuck, and that she had likely fallen, Jason ran over to the lock bridge, scaled down the metal chain into the lock and supported her. “We gave her our coats to keep her warm, because she was already quite cold.”
Isabel called 911, and within minutes the Merrickville Fire Department was there to help get the woman out of the lock. Isabel thought the woman seemed to have hurt her hip, so the officers used a basket to hoist her out and into an ambulance to be taken to the hospital.
Merrickville Fire Chief, Brad Cole, said the woman did suffer injuries and was taken by ambulance to Smith Falls District Hospital by Lanark County paramedics. On Friday, Chief Cole said he was unsure of the woman’s condition; but knew that she was still in hospital. “She is very lucky that the couple noticed her, as it was getting close to dark and she might not have been seen until the next day,” Brad told the Times.
Isabel has no idea how long the woman was in the lock before they found her. She believes that she must have been climbing the steps to walk across the lock bridge when she slipped and fell where there is no railing. “We were pretty happy that we found her when we did,” she says. “I don’t know how things would have turned out if she had been left there a lot longer.”