We saw this heartbreaking but compassionate story posted on Facebook about the neighborhood’s response to a man in need. The author, Kurt, has agreed to let us re-post it here:
Wednesday afternoon, I picked up [my child] from a friend’s house nearby. We drove about a block in the Jeep toward home before pausing at an intersection as an elderly man started to cross the quiet corner at 75th and Earl.
The man stumbled on the curb edge and went down face first in the street. He didn’t move. He didn’t spring up.
I pulled over and got out hoping I could help him to his feet. His glasses were pushed aside and his eyes were open, and he struggled to move his mouth. His little knit hat was bloodied. He couldn’t reply to my questions about whether he was OK or needed an ambulance. So I called 911.
A woman came out of her corner house while I talked to the medic dispatcher. The man’s eyes closed.
A man approached walking his dogs. We rolled over the old man, revealing a large gash in his forehead. The man with the dogs began CPR. The sirens approached.
More people stopped. A neighbor and her son checked for a pulse. The woman from the corner brought out blankets.
The medics arrived and went to work on the man in the street. [My child] stood by, watching it all. I told neighbors and medics what we saw.
A woman who checked on the man regularly arrived. “His name is Mac. He’s 92. His wife died a few years ago. He lives alone and I bring him meals. He likes to walk.”
In the back of an ambulance the medics continued CPR. They had cut off layers of warm clothing. An old jacket, a heavy wool shirt, a flannel and a long sleeve t-shirt.
[We] drove home. Sad and shocked.
At 10 p.m. the woman on the corner called to say Mac did not make it. That the woman who brought the meals wanted to make sure [my child] was OK.
Mac was a Merchant Marine who traveled the world. He had a son who died in his 40s. He was stubborn and mostly liked to eat the desserts she brought him. He still raked his own leaves and never went to the doctor.
She said he lived a good life.
I hope he felt me hold his hand. I hope he heard me say, “You’re OK. We’re here with you.”