It is incredibly difficult to watch your loved ones deteriorate. As they get older, they’re not as agile or able-bodied, and while some accept that fact gracefully, others fight it with everything they have and hold on to their independence even when that puts them in grave danger.
It’s unclear what the case was for this particular gentleman from Whittier, California. A resident at a nursing home, he somehow got out and went for a stroll last Friday.
Later, when family asked the home he’d been staying at for some kind of explanation, all they could say was that they weren’t legally allowed to keep him from leaving but that they didn’t even know he was gone until police contacted them an hour after he left.
In that hour, he managed to cover half a mile and cross three streets that are known to be busy. As he crossed the last one, he lost his balance on a curb and took a bad fall at about 11:30 a.m.
Left to put together the pieces after finding out he’d been injured, his family was able to get surveillance footage from a 7-Eleven on the corner of the intersection.
Watching their beloved father and grandfather fall must have been incredibly heart-wrenching — but his family saw something else, too, that spurred them to post the video online and send out a plea for help.
“PLEASE HELPS US FIND OUR HEROS (sic) IN WHITTIER,” Tiffany Avans, who identified herself as the man’s granddaughter, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“My grandpa escaped from his nursing home yesterday and was gone an hour before he had this accident on the corner of Santa Fe Springs Rd. And Lambert,” the caption explained.
“As you can see, several people stopped what they were doing to come to his rescue and we could not be more thankful. Please share this and helps us find these (heroes)/angels so we can thank them properly.”
“Grandpa is recovering the ICU right now and we are hoping he will make a full recovery.”
As the video plays, a woman (presumably a daughter of the man, as she refers to him as “dad”) narrates. “Okay so here’s dad walking across the street,” she says as an elderly man with a cane walks across the crosswalk on the security camera footage.
“You can see that he has the red light — he almost got hit by that white car that just drove by.”
“He’s trying to get up the curb. He doesn’t have the energy. Then he’s going to try and sidestep… tries to go up, realizes he’s losing his balance, and boom. Down. He’s out for the count. Blacked out.”
Just moments after the older gentleman collapsed, a man came running in from the right side of the screen. He waved his arms frantically, perhaps calling someone or trying to get their attention.
At that point, the older man was collapsed in the street, in a traffic lane. He’s within the crosswalk markings, but not in a safe location. Still, it’s dangerous to move a person after they’ve had an accident, and the stranger stayed with him as other good Samaritans flocked to the site.
A car pulled into the 7-Eleven parking lot and a young lady got out. Several women ran across the street to check on him, one on a phone, probably calling for help. A construction worker came over, and then ran to get some cones to block off the site. Another man redirected traffic.
In all, around eight people joined forces to keep the man safe until first responders arrived.
“These are all heroes…” the woman in the video said, “these are angels protecting our dad… we need to find them.” The family has posted and shared the video online in hopes that someone will know who these good Samaritans are so they can be recognized and thanked.
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