WADHAMS - Most people wouldn't consider placing a trash can out by the curb a lifesaving move.
However, it was just that for Robin Amodio, who used her Northern Sanitation can as a walker after breaking her hip in a fall.
It all started after some snowfall on Dec. 13, when Amodio went outside of her Eggleston Lane Road in Wadhams.
"The person who was going to plow my driveway never showed up, and I couldn't tell where the driveway ended and a ditch began," Amodio said. "When I stepped into the ditch, I went down."
Amodio said, while she was not too far away from her house, trying to move with a broken hip was not going to happen.
"The house was so close but I couldn't get there," Amodio said. "No one could hear me screaming."
That's when she had an idea.
"Adrenaline kicked in and somehow I managed to grab the Northern Sanitation trash bin and pull myself up into a standing position," Amodio said. "I used the bin like a walker of sorts and dragged myself up the driveway. That took about an hour."
While she was now at the house, Amodio said she was in no way out of the woods.
"I was becoming hypothermic," she said. "When I got to the door I had to abandon the bin and get to the phone by hanging onto whatever was available. I was feeling like I was going into shock but got 911 and fell on the couch while they stayed on the line talking to me until the ambulance came. By this time I ran out of adrenaline and the pain was excruciating."
Amodio is now recovering from her injury and has started physical therapy. She said that while there was a problem with not being able to see the ditch from the driveway, there were several things that could have been done to prevent the incident.
"Many of the falls like mine can be prevented," Amodio said. "I was not wearing proper clothing for the weather and perhaps the worst was boots without a tread. It could have been prevented if I had worn something like YakTrax, had warmer clothing on and most of all, had a reliable cell phone with me."
Amodio said if anyone takes anything away from her story, it would be that she hopes people will be aware and prepared when going outside in the winter.
"This is what I want to alert everyone to, especially those who live in an isolated area with little traffic," she said. "It can happen to anyone. At Fletcher Allen I asked if this was strictly age related and was told it happens every winter to people of all ages. I just don't want this to happen to anyone else."
Amodio also said that pre-existing conditions were part of the issue.
"There are lots of folks my age who fall and don't break bones," Amodio said. "I have rheumatoid arthritis and had previously taken Prednisone for many months. Prednisone causes osteoporosis which is probably why my hip cracked. That's another group that needs to be careful; those who have other health problems that may contribute to fractures."