Published: 06:00, 01 July 2019
| Updated: 06:12, 01 July 2019
When an ice cream man didn’t see one of his regulars while doing his rounds, he knew something was wrong.
Yet when Robert Ellinor went to check wheelchair-bound customer Kerry, little did he know he would end up becoming a hero.
The 27-year-old’s daily rounds of Rainham and Twydall extend further than selling 99s, as he also does runs of shopping for the elderly and infirm.
He was doing his regular rounds in Rainham on Sunday, June 9, when he realised he hadn’t seen Kerry, a wheelchair-bound lady who he would do food shopping for, for a couple of days.
He said: “I see her on a regular basis, I take time out of my rounds just so she’s got another person to talk to. I’d be the only person she sees in a day, and somehow I just knew something was wrong.”
He approached the house, and when Kerry didn’t come to the door, he peered through the window and saw her having a fit.
He unlocked the window from the outside and phoned the ambulance. Kerry was taken to hospital and released a few days later. She said: “I’d be having seizures and fits for hours, blacking out and couldn’t move, I was screaming for help for hours, my MS, diabetes, and other conditions seem to all go wrong at the same time, my glucose levels were very dangerous. I was stuck on the floor, I was very lucky Robert came to check on me.
“The doctors said if he hadn’t have found me it would have been much much worse."
"I’d be the only person she sees in a day, and somehow I just knew something was wrong...” Robert Ellinor
Robert was taught the tricks of the trade by his father Mark.
Having gone to university to study film directing, he decided to take the plunge and buy his own ice cream van. His Fundae Ices truck with its Yankee Doodle theme tune is seen daily serving up frozen treats and fresh desserts.
He said: “I love seeing people and making a difference to people’s live. We all remember our ice cream man or lady and I want kids to remember their ice cream man.
“It’s all about seeing a happy face and having a positive conversation, that’s why I never miss a day, rain or shine, I’m there for those people."