Every once in a while, a family member will call me and want to talk computers. Now I’m no tech wizard.
I can’t program software, and smart TV menus make me break out into a cold sweat. But I know enough to get myself into trouble with a PC — and to get some people out of it.
Understanding a technical, highly specialized skill can prove highly valuable. That’s what Amanda Fessler learned on Nov. 19.
According to one of her Facebook posts, Fessler was up the proverbial creek without a paddle. In addition to dealing with an aunt’s death, she had to check her daughter out of the hospital.
Why? Well, that daughter had suffered from seizures for years. She’d undergone brain surgery to help address the malady.
To top it all off, Fessler’s car had started acting up. Then the worst happened.
“We were discharged from the hospital on the 19th after I had returned to the hospital from attending my aunt’s funeral in Pennsylvania,” Fessler told the News Journal. But while on the way home from the hospital, the vehicle started to smoke.
“I was able to get the car off the road in between three lanes of traffic to my left and merging traffic to my right,” Fessler said. “We were staring at the 1-mile exit for Bear, [Delaware,] when we called for a tow truck.”
Fessler and her family had to spend the night in a hotel, and the next morning they tried desperately to fix a shredded belt. “I was almost a nervous wreck because my daughter desperately needed to get home to recover, and our check-out time was growing near,” Fessler said.
That was when her salvation arrived in a baseball cap and work shirt. Donta Thompson, the hotel’s engineer, stepped up and started working on the vehicle himself.
He also arranged for the couple to have a late checkout from the hotel. Then he got to work on the car.
“He not only offered his tools, he came in and saved the day,” Fessler said. “Not many people would have been so generous and rushed to the aid to help others. …
“Donta quickly offered his help to us and was able to guide us on how to get the old belt off. He then put the new serpentine belt on for us and instructed us to add more antifreeze so we would not overheat on the way home.
“With his help, we were able to make it home safely and my daughter was finally able to get the rest she needed to recover.” In another Facebook post, she added that her daughter’s prognosis looked good and that “she hasn’t had … one seizure since before the surgery.”
For his part, Thompson said he was just doing what comes naturally to him. “I do it all the time,” he said. “I try to help.”
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