Neighbors help 72-year-old injured while landscaping his north Phoenix home

A man fell while landscaping his north Phoenix front yard and was sent to the hospital so his neighborhood came together to finish the job.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:32 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:46 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — One look at a north Phoenix house, and you wonder how anyone could get lost and trapped in the front yard. But that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when Bill Breakiron, 72, fell in the middle of overgrown brush and trees in front of his home, off Thunderbird Road and Tatum Boulevard. “I just fell and I couldn’t move,” said Breakiron.

Reid Ballard is a technician with West Coast Plumbing and Air. He was doing some work a few doors down when suddenly he heard someone screaming for help. He ran up and down the block, then spotted Breakiron buried in his front yard. “It looked like he had tripped on a branch and fell into the brush, so it was very hard to see him,” said Ballard. “He was surrounded by bushes and trimming equipment. He had all the stuff for landscaping, but he couldn’t get back up.”

“Luckily I heard him in time because he was very, very hurt,” he added. Ballard and his partner pulled Breakiron out of his yard after being trapped there for more than two hours in the hot sun.

The program is sponsored by AARP and aims to help seniors who don’t have a car or should no longer be driving.

Cynthia and TJ Jennings live a few doors down and saw what was going on. They also ran over to help. Then they decided they wanted to do more. So they rallied together more than 20 neighbors who showed up one day to clean up Breakiron’s front yard while the injured senior was recovering in the hospital. “I was overwhelmed. I thought maybe one to two people but we had over 70 responses, over 25 people showed up,” said TJ Jennings. “He said he knew that we would help but he didn’t expect we’d help in that way. He’s just a really nice man,” said Cynthia Jennings.

Arizona’s Family got a hold of the struggling senior on FaceTime, who told us he’s overwhelmed by all the kindness from his neighbors and random strangers. “I want to say thank you. So grateful and heartfelt that they were willing to go out and help. Most of them didn’t even know me,” Breakiron said. “I just want to thank them. It really touched me.” Neighbors are already planning their next act of kindness. In the next few weeks, they’ll get together again to clean up Breakiron’s backyard.

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