AN elderly man who collapsed on the pavement in Salisbury city centre nearly died after he lay there for four hours while people just walked by.

Brian Courtney, 77, developed hypothermia as he lay unconscious in Bedwin Street while passers-by ignored him.

The great-grandfather had driven to Salt Lane car park and was on his way to Castle Street doctor’s surgery at 8am last Wednesday when he fell.

He lay in the street until 12noon when someone finally called an ambulance.

His body temperature was down to 26C and doctors said they couldn’t believe he’d survived his ordeal.

Mr Courtney, who suffers from a kidney condition, was rushed to Salisbury District Hospital and treated in intensive care.

He was transferred to the renal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth where he is undergoing intensive dialysis. His family doesn’t know if he will make a full recovery.

“I can’t believe that nobody stopped to help him,” said his daughter Karen Paddington.

“It was only just above freezing and hundreds of people must have walked or driven past him.

“I’m always reading how kind people in Salisbury are but they left him unconscious on the pavement for four hours.”

Mr Courtney, a retired gardener, lives in warden controlled accommodation off Wilton Road in Salisbury.

He has lived in the city his whole life.

“It makes you question how caring people really are here,” said Mrs Paddington, of Bishopdown Farm.

“I hope reading this pokes people’s consciences if they just stepped over him.

“It makes me think that we all have a responsibility to stop and make sure that someone is all right especially when it’s that cold.

“Even if you think they might be drunk or sleeping rough you could still pop back to make sure they are ok or call the emergency services if you are worried.” Mr Courtney’s family is hoping to track down the person who called the ambulance to thank them.

They believe it was someone who saw Mr Courtney lying in the street while they were on their way to work and rang the emergency services when they walked back along Bedwin Street several hours later and realised he was still there.

“We also want to thank the ambulance crew and all the hospital staff,” said Mrs Paddington.

“This has been terrifying for our family especially my father.”

Mr Courtney is in a stable condition and his family says he is good spirits despite his ordeal.

If you know the person who called the ambulance contact the Journal newsdesk on 01722 426511.