The world famous actor John Malkovich leapt to the aid of a senior citizen saving him after the Ohio resident fell on a Toronto, Canada street and cut his neck on a scaffolding pole outside of his hotel.
The man, Jim Walpole talked to ABC News and told them about the incident.
Jim Walpole and his wife Marilyn who are residents of Defiance, Ohio were visiting Toronto on the last leg of their cross-Canada train trip when Walpole had his accident. The 77 year-old caught his foot on something and and fell into the street. The couple were on their way back from dinner at P.J. O’Brien’s on Thursday evening.
Walpole told ABC News that he wasn’t able to catch himself once he tripped just outside of his hotel, the King Edward, where he and his wife were staying in downtown Toronto.
The 77 year-old visiting Ohio resident said, “My neck hit the scaffolding pole and there was a sharp thing sticking out on the bottom. My neck hit the thing that sticks out and tore it. I was really bleeding.”
Walpole’s wife Marilyn is a trained nurse, but she was so taken back by what had happened that, according to Jim, she, “forgot all her nursing stuff,” he said. Marilyn herself told ABC News that, “It just totally terrified me.”
According to Walpole, someone lept to the couples rescue; He said, “But two gentleman, I don’t know where they came from, came to my aid. They knew exactly what to do.” Walpole said that the two men put pressure on his neck gash with a towel until the emergency services could arrive. And the two gents helped his wife to calm down.
The Ohioan then asked the two men their names while they were treating his wound and Malkovich told Jim his name was “John.” The other gentleman said that his name was “Ben.”
Walpole later found out he had been rescued by none other than the filmstar John Malkovich and Ben Quinn, the owner of the restaurant where the couple had just eaten. Ben Quinn owns several other eateries around the Toronto area.
Once the ambulance arrived, Walpole and his wife were taken to the St. Michael’s Hospital’s emergency room in downtown Toronto and the 77 year-old was treated immediately. It turns out that he’d suffered more than a gash to his neck from the fall. Apart from the 10 stitches in his neck, he’d also broken his left ring finger.
Walpole told ABC News that the injury could, in fact, have killed him. It was very close to killing him almost outright. He said, “The emergency room doctor said if [the cut] had been another eighth of an inch, I would have been in real trouble. It would have gotten into a main artery.”
He said that both his coat and his shirt were soaked in blood and he was amazed that two strangers lept so quickly to his rescue in what was almost a life-threatening injury. He said, “I have nothing but praise for those two gentlemen. I’m just so thankful for all the help they gave me.”
The older tourist said that he didn’t even recognise Malkovich as he worked on the gash in his neck. When he later found out who had helped him, he then remembered the actor from his role in Secretariat. Malkovich is in Toronto starring in the play The Giacomo Variations.
The actor now has a new fan. Walpole said, “Believe me, I’m going to be watching all of [his films] now.” He told ABC that he spent the day after his fall recovering in the hospital and that he and his wife missed going to Niagara Falls with their tour group. Although he wasn’t able to thank Malkovich personally, he did get to thank Quinn.
According to the senior citizen, Quinn paid him a visit while he was at the hospital. Jim and Marilyn Walpole never saw John Malkovich after his life-saving ministrations on the Toronto street, but Marilyn said that their tour group had heard from the actor. Malkovich called them to see how Jim was.
The actor also wrote a personal letter to Walpole and Marilyn said that she thought that Malkovich was a doctor, she was amazed to find out that it was the famous actor who had acted so swiftly and calmly to the accident. She said, “He was so in control and knew exactly what to do. I thought he was a doctor.”
The couple are back home in Ohio now and they both are very happy to have benefited from the kindness of strangers.
Marilyn Walpole summed it up nicely when she said, “How many people would stop and help somebody? I don’t know where they came from. I just know [Malkovich and Quinn] were two angels.”
By Michael Smith