When a family friend hadn’t heard from 89-year-old Violeta Pilgrim in nearly a week, he called Miami Beach Police for help.
Officers Whismick Charles and Pablo Gonzalez quickly arrived at Pilgrim’s home and began knocking, but no one answered the door. They started banging on the windows too, but no one seemed to be there.
Pilgrim’s family insisted she was inside the home, so the police knew they had to go in.
When they went around the side of the house, they finally saw a woman on the floor inside. They quickly pulled the screen off a window and began calling to her.
“Ma’am, do you hear me?” Officer Gonzales was heard yelling to Pilgrim in Spanish in a body-cam video. When they heard her faint reply, the officers immediately climbed into the unit to rescue her.
“She was trapped in her mattress. She did not move from that position for six days,” Gonzalez said. “No food, no water, no bathroom breaks.”
He quickly lifted up the mattress and the bed frame and pulled her out from underneath. Her body was frail and quickly fading.
Officers Gonzales and Charles were able to safely rescue Pilgrim and she is now recovering in the hospital. They both expressed how shocked they were by the woman’s resilience.
“It’s surprising. I can’t go six minutes without food or water, so you can only imagine six days,” Charles said.
“It is a miracle, honestly,” Gonzalez said, “especially for her age. It is a miracle that she is alive.”
The officers involved received awards from the department for their heroic actions.
“She has a long road of recovery ahead of her, but she knows she has the Miami Beach Police Department now as an extended family,” Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said.
Thank goodness these kind officers arrived when they did and sprang into action. They are true heroes!
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