Jan 26, 2001


I received some very sad news yesterday.

A few weeks ago, my parents stopped in for a visit. Shortly after they left, my father came rushing back in the door, telling me to call 911. My heart, naturally, stopped for a minute - I thought there had been an accident and my mother was hurt. But as they were driving down the street, they noticed a lady in her driveway who had apparently slipped and fallen on the ice.

I called 911 and they asked me several questions that I passed on to my father, and back and forth we went until the 911 operator was able to give me some instructions: keep her warm, and if she loses consciousness, call us right back. So I grabbed an old blanket that I kept in the car and rushed off down the street.

She was just lying there, repeating "Oh my head. My head." There was no blood, she was still conscious, and when I asked her her name and if she knew what day it was, she responded appropriately - no babbling, not incoherent.

We waitied to hear the sirens, and all the while I tried to comfort her that help was coming, she would be ok. Within a few minutes, the ambulance pulled up and the EMT's struggled up the icy driveway and began examining her and trying to put a neck brace on. This caused her to become nauseous, so we quickly got her turned on her side and I tried to clean up what I could with the blanket without moving her. She was very embarrased and I felt so sorry for her, but assured her that everything was ok, we didn't mind and just wanted her to get to the hospital where they would help her.

They got her strapped in and struggled down the icy driveway to the ambulance and they were off.

I wondered for several days how she was doing. I'd never met her before that day and didn't know any more about her than her name. But she was a neighbor, and I believe you should be at least on driving-past-and-waving terms with your neighbors. You never know when you may need them. As happened here.

I just found out yesterday that she died that night. And all because she wanted to bring in her trashcan.