Elderly man trapped in bed after magazine collection collapses ceiling


December 14, 2011

Elderly man trapped in bed after magazine collection collapses ceilingFor 79-year-old Richard Phillips, his love of magazines nearly cost him his life, as his collection caused the ceiling of his bedroom to collapse, leaving him trapped on his bed, The Daily Gazette reports.

According to the news outlet, Phillips had more than 50 boxes full of issues of the magazine Traditional Sail stored in his loft above his bedroom. He had been lying in bed when all of the sudden the entire ceiling gave way to the weight of the magazines. He was stuck on his bed for more than 12 hours, until his friend Karen Waterhouse came over for a visit.

After noticing the debris, Waterhouse tried to open the bedroom door but it was stuck. She ran to neighbor Tony Piercy's home to ask for assistance.

"We just thought the worst had happened," Waterhouse told the publication. "We could hear him speak, but we couldn’t get to him so Tony smashed the door in, eventually, and that’s how we found him."

Once the pair realized they couldn't get Phillips out themselves, they called 911 and a team of police officers and fireman arrived and formed a chain to remove the debris fast in order to free Phillips. He suffered minor injuries and is now looking to repair his home.

This incident shows that accidents can happen at any time and sometimes seniors can be left alone for hours or even days with no means of calling for help. Elderly people living alone should consider installing a medical alert system to be prepared for any situation.