Sent in by Kristen Hughes
Last Sunday, a car came to a stop at the end of our street and just sat oddly parked with the lights on for a while, so my husband went out to check on them. The car was driven by an elderly man who was with his wife. He said they were stuck and so my husband looked up a towing company he found on his phone and made the call for them.
When Neil from Cozino Towing & Recovery got here, he talked to the couple and then approached my husband and I with his concerns. The couple thought they were only a little way from their house, but they gave him an address in Williamsburg. They had no idea that they were in Richmond, and they couldn’t tell us where they had been or how long they had been traveling. When we asked them if they had any children we could call, they couldn’t remember their names, much less could they give us even one phone number. They were very obviously in no condition to drive, and Neil didn’t want to tow their car to Williamsburg when it wasn’t at all clear if they were able to tell him the right address.
Neil suggested we contact the police and ask for their help. In just a few minutes, several officers arrived. They ran the license plate and found that the couple’s children had filed a missing persons report for them earlier in the evening. The man had dementia (and unfortunately most likely his wife has it too), both were diabetic, and they had been gone from their home since 10 AM that morning. The police called the paramedics and thankfully, they were both in good physical health – just very confused and tired.
The police and paramedics were competent and compassionate, and made sure the couple got home safely, and were as comfortable as possible in the meantime. I’m sure they do this kind of thing every day, but I rarely have the chance to hear about it or see them in action. A local businessman spent at least an hour in Church Hill, late on a Sunday night, helping out a couple he never met and that didn’t actually turn out to need his services – the car wasn’t broken down or stuck – it was just the driver that ran out of fuel. Neil just seemed happy that he could help.
I’m sure there are a million stories like this that happen all the time in Church Hill, but it’s really nice to know folks are looking out for each other.