MUNROE FALLS — Three times would not be the charm for Harry Walker.
Two years after Walker fell and hit his head while walking in Brust Park, it happened again March 26 and he and his wife Kay say they would like to thank the two unidentified strangers who stopped to help him.
"I just though it was pretty nice for them to stop, seeing as how this coronavirus is going around," said Harry, 71. "They didn’t have to stop. They could have just let me lay there, but they both stopped."
Harry said he ended up with a hematoma, though not as big as the one he had in the 2018 incident. And the earlier mishap occurred when he arrived back at the parking lot at the end of a six-mile walk while the March 26 incident, at around 10:45 a.m., was about a half mile east of the parking lot while he was walking back during a two-mile walk. But both happened while he was walking downhill along the paved trail.
"I was just walking so fast, I couldn’t stop," he said. "I don’t know what it was. Same thing happened before."
Shortly after falling, a man and woman approached and stopped to help him.
"They bent down," said Harry. "I was laying on the ground, bleeding like crazy. I didn’t know what was happening, I kind of lost my head, you know. It was a pretty bad gash, I guess. So the guy said, ‘I better call 911’ and I said, ‘no, you don’t have to.’ He said, ‘No, you don’t know what you look like.’ I guess I didn’t."
Meanwhile, Kay was at their Munroe Falls home. She said that after the 2018 accident, she got into the habit of asking Harry what was wrong when he would call her. That morning, though, when her phone rang, it was Harry‘s number, but it was not Harry’s voice she heard but that of a man she did not know.
"He said, ‘I’m here with your husband and he fell’ and I go ‘Oh, no,’" said Kay. "And I said, ‘Is he OK?’ and he said ‘He’s conscious.’ He let me talk to him and he said ‘he’s bleeding pretty heavily above the right eye.’"
She said the man mentioned his name, but she did not catch it. Harry said that if either the man or woman told him their names, he does not remember, but he does recall the man said he is a teacher and the woman said she is a nurse.
Police Chief Jerry Hughes said officers responded to the scene, but the incident was handled entirely by Munroe Falls EMS and he had no additional information. The fire department did not respond to a phone call seeking information.
Harry said he was taken on a "four-wheeler" from where he fell to Brust’s parking lot, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls. Kay said she went to the hospital and Harry was released after about two hours.
"I would just like to thank the police and fire department for the way they reacted and the nurses at the hospital," said Harry.
Kay said Harry’s stitches were removed April 2. Harry said Tuesday that he’s "doing pretty good." He said he chipped one tooth and lost another in the fall, for which he has been to the dentist and needs to go again.
"I just have a little scar where they took the stitches out," he said. "It’s still black and blue down there, underneath my eye. Other than that, I’m OK."
Kay said that she often goes with Harry on his walks, but he will go without her at times. She said this may have to change.
"I told him, ‘You know, from now on,’ I said, ‘you’re going to have to wear a speedometer and I’m going to have to take a leash along with me,’" she said. "He laughed and said, ‘Kay, you might have to at that.’"
When asked if he would make a point of having Kay with him on his walks, Harry said, ‘Yeah, probably."
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, —email@example.com or @JeffSaunders_RP