sasi volunteer crew saves woman’s life

Two weeks ago, Meals on Wheels volunteers from our Angola Day Hab saved the life of an elderly woman in danger.

The crew of Jon Soreno, John Fish, Julie Fleishman, Zack Allen, and Dan Ciesla, along with Habilitation Instructor Jim Carney, were out delivering on Jan. 3 when they discovered one of the meal recipients had fallen and couldn’t get up. When the woman didn’t answer her door, Jim and Jon walked back to the van to get her phone number. But when they did, they heard a voice call out.

“The woman’s voice was too faint to really understand, so I turned off the van, to better hear what she was saying,” Carney said. “She was yelling, ‘Help’ and saying she couldn’t get to the door. She asked if we could call an ambulance, because the door was locked.”

The two men returned to the van and quickly and calmly explained to the rest of the crew what was going on. They then called 911 and alerted emergency personnel to the situation. They then stayed until police arrived to explain what had happened.

First responders were able to break into the house and load the woman into an ambulance. She was transported to a local hospital and is expected to be just fine.

Later, the crew returned to the day hab and relayed their story to the rest of the program participants and staff members.

“We used it as a teachable moment to reinforce with them how important our community volunteerism is in general and especially with the Meals on Wheels program,” Carney said. “Because, sometimes, we are these peoples’ only contact with the outside.”

The crew received praise from the rest of those at the day hab and from representatives with Meals on Wheels. If they hadn’t acted, the woman may not have received the medical attention she desperately needed.

“I have the utmost respect and appreciation for all those committed to dedicating their time to help serve people in our community,” said Colleen Diebel, team leader at Angola Day Hab.