Amputee Patricia meets her hero

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 05:00 09/05/2012
tdn bus
CAMERON BURNELL
Patricia Decesare met Joep Hupkens yesterday, the man who helped her after she was dragged under a bus.

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The good samaritan who comforted a New Plymouth woman after she was dragged under a bus has been found.

Joep Hupkens contacted the Taranaki Daily News yesterday after reading how Patricia Decesare wanted to meet the man who provided her with reassurance that help was on the way after her accident on February 2.

Ms Decesare had to have her left leg amputated above the knee and two metals rods inserted in her badly broken left arm, after she was knocked over and dragged under the back wheels of the Tranzit Group bus.

Police investigated the crash and have charged the bus driver.

Mr Hupkens said he wasn't sure if he was the one Ms Decesare was looking for as he was not the first to go to her aid.

"I arrived a little bit later but I was with her until the ambulance arrived on the scene," he said.

The former ambulance volunteer did not consider himself a hero.

"When I see things like this happen, I would do what I hope anybody would do in that situation. I was quite concerned."

After speaking with the Daily News Mr Hupkens went to visit 86-year-old Ms Decesare at the Telford Rest Home and Hospital where she's recovering.

"She is a very strong lady," he said.

Mr Hupkens was reluctant to reveal details of what the pair had spoken about.

"That's something between me and her; it is quite private really. I know where she is and that's wonderful," he said.

"I'm happy I went there for a visit and she was happy for me to visit and I will go back for more visits. It's just wonderful that I've found her again and that I know where she is at and that I've been able to meet her."

Mr Hupkens said he would keep in contact with Ms Decesare if she wanted to.

Sergeant Pat Duffy said the bus driver had been charged with careless driving causing injury and would reappear in New Plymouth District Court today.

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