Ivan was intent for the family to settle in Birmingham and went alone to find a suitable home. While Paul was playing alongside an unfenced area of Weatherfield Canal, he fell in and was rescued by local bookie, Dave Smith. The cold water brought on pneumonia and he was taken to the Infirmary and placed in an oxygen tent, with Linda and Elsie keeping a bedside vigil. At Len Fairclough's suggestion, the police were able to contact Ivan and he returned to Weatherfield. The incident reconciled the Cheveskis and they moved to Birmingham as planned once Paul had recovered and discharged from hospital.
Paul came to stay with his grandmother and her new husband Alan Howard for a week in March 1972 when he was recovering from the flu. Although he had supposedly been ill, he had the energy of ten people and ran "Uncle Alan" ragged for the week. Alan complained he was shattered although he liked the boy and Elsie was delighted to have her grandson staying, if only for a short period. He then went back to his parents.