Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Who Had Stroke in His Bathroom Survived on Toilet Water for Seven Days

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Who Had Stroke in His Bathroom Survived on Toilet Water for Seven Days

Article excerpt

Man trapped next to toilet for 7 days tells story

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VANCOUVER - Water from a toilet bowl and thoughts of his family kept a 62-year-old Dawson Creek, B.C., man alive for a week when a stroke left him partially paralyzed on his bathroom floor.

Sitting in a wheelchair at the Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver, Steve Adsley calmly recounted his harrowing seven-day misery after he collapsed in his condominium on June 26.

Jammed between the vanity and the toilet, the retired financial controller and father of three said he struggled to move his body but his entire left side was paralyzed.

He yelled for help to his neighbours, but said he knew they were at work. Hours passed, and Adsley said he grew thirsty, so with his good right arm, he unscrewed a small cup that covers the toilet bolt and began to scoop water from the bowl.

He said he drank it, and there was no "ick factor."

"It's not great but it beats no water," he said when asked about the taste. "When you lay there for awhile (with) no water you get thirsty, and you have to have water."

He said he continued his yelling but grew tired, noting it's not possible to yell for 24 hours.

"You can only yell for a couple hours and you lose your voice," he said. "You get too tired to yell."

Realizing his best chances of being heard were in the early mornings and evenings when his neighbours were leaving for or returning from work and were outside in the parking lot, Adsley said he waited for those windows of opportunity.

"I would yell, 'help, I need help," as loud with 'help' as I possibly could, and I'd yell like that for about 15 minutes and then your voice gets weak and help comes out less loud," he said.

Adsley said while he isn't someone who grows despondent by nature, by the third day he began to question his survival.

He could hear his neighbours in the parking lot, and sometimes even their movements in the building, but said he felt like he was being drowned out.

"Yeah, after about Day 3, I figured I'm done," he said. "No one's going to find me. I'm going to end up dying of thirst, I'm going to run out of water and I'm never going to be found."

The self-described stubborn man thought about his family for strength. …

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