Cape Town - A paralysed resident at a Cape Town nursing home died at the Canal Walk Shopping Centre when his wheelchair toppled into the canal from a walkway outside the centre.
Former Marion Island team leader Graham Clark had been a resident of Eric Miles Cheshire Home in Milnerton for 33 years after suffering a stroke in 1982 which left him paralysed from the mouth down.
According to the home's general manager Alet Bosman, Clark and his long-time carer Lesley spotted ducks in the canal and Clark wanted to feed them. He sent Lesley to the specially equipped van to fetch WeetBix they had just purchased.
As Lesley was returning he heard a splash and rushed to where he had left his charge. He immediately jumped into the water and managed to pull Clark, who had been strapped into his wheelchair from the water. Efforts to rescuscitate Clark were unsuccessful.
Lesley received trauma councelling after the tragedy and Bosman has commended him for "adding value" to Clarke's life.
The Eric Miles Cheshire Home posted a tribute to Clark on its Facebook page.
Shona Mcdonald posted: "Graham played a major role in influencing and inspiring the launch and establishment of Interface. Memories of his determination, outstanding sense of humor and red roses will remain with me for ever. Respect Graham Respect"
"Really very sorry to hear this, our family has known Graham Clarke for about 30 years. What an inspiring person who shared so much positivity with others. May he Rest in Peace. Thank you for sharing this with us so that we can remember Graham during this very sad time xxxx," said Katie Perriera Kotze.