A GRATEFUL patient is pleading for help in finding the unsung hero credited with saving his life.
The mystery stranger phoned an ambulance after finding security guard Richard Clowes slumped at a bus stop in the West End.
Richard was suffering septic shock and close to death after a pacemaker fitted just months before spread severe infection.
“I’ve no recollection,” said Richard, 42, from his hospital bed at the Royal Infirmary. “I don’t know whether they were young, old, male or female – I’d just like to say thank you.”
Richard’s partner Shirley Connolly, 45, added: “He nearly died. There’d be a horrible gap and what would I do?
“We thought he had a chest infection and he shouldn’t have gone to work but he’s a workaholic.”
Shirley gave Richard a lift to Glenrothes bus station on the morning of December 3 and waved him off at around 11am.
He took a x59 or x54 bus heading for the West End and his job at the Co-op in Shandwick Place – but what happened next is a mystery.
“I texted him later on to ask how he was feeling but there was no response,” said Shirley.
When Richard failed to show back at the bus station at a prearranged time of 10.30pm, Shirley naturally thought he had missed the bus.
The true extent of Richard’s dice with death only started to emerge on the drive home.
“My phone was ringing but I left it because I was driving. By the time I parked the car up it’d stopped ringing.
“It was an Edinburgh number and when I rang it it said it didn’t accept incoming calls – I thought OK, that’s the hospital,” said Shirley.
She phoned the Royal Infirmary to be told Richard was fighting for his life in intensive care.
“He was semi-conscious and confused. He didn’t know he was in hospital – it was horrible,” recalled Shirley.
Doctors told Richard a pacemaker he had had fitted just a few months earlier had caused an infection – and said he was lucky to be alive.
“They said when they pulled the pacemaker out he’d get really sick because they scraped all the infection out with it,” said Shirley.
A month later and Richard is finally on the mend and has been transferred first to a renal high dependency ward and now a general ward to recover.
“All the ambulance notes state that he was at a bus stop in Edinburgh but not the street,” said Shirley. He has no recollection of weeks that he was ill.”
Richard, who is 5ft 6ins with dark hair, green eyes and wears glasses was dressed in a matt black padded jacket with a hood, black boots and black trousers.
He had a navy jumper over a light blue shirt with a light blue and red striped tie carrying a black backpack with security ID on a blue lanyard.
Richard and Shirley are now hoping to track down the good samaritan – with the help of Evening News readers.
“I know it is a long shot but Richard would really like to say thank you to the person that didn’t think he was a random drunk or drug addict and got him an ambulance, they saved his life,” said Shirley.