PHOENIX, Ariz. - A 78-year-old man suffered second degree burns to his feet on Saturday after walking outside without any shoes on.
James Wankel said he went outside his home, near 30th Street and Campbell, to try and catch the mailman. After making it halfway across the street, the pain from the hot street brought him to his knees.
“I couldn't stand up. The pain was so bad in my feet,” said Wankel.
His neighbor, Terri Cryan, saw Wankel fall down in the street. She and her sister ran over to help him.
“By the time he turned around he couldn't run back to the grass. So he fell down and then he's burning his knees and his hands so we had to, both of us, had to pick him up by his arms and then run him to the grass,” said Cryan.
But the cooler grass did not ease the pain.
“Even when we got in the grass he just kept collapsing because his feet burned so bad,” recalled Cryan.
Wankel was taken to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center.
“Both the right and the left feet had blistered all the way across the balls of my feet,” said Wankel.
But he knows it could have been worse if his neighbor had not helped him.
“I would have had a hell of a time getting off that asphalt,” said Wankel. “I feel pretty lucky to say the least.”
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