I had to work at home today so that the termite inspector could get to the crawl space and attic. It was a good thing I did.
He arrived at 9:30, as planned, and got right to work. A few minutes later, my doorbell rang again; it was a lady wondering if I had my next-door neighbor’s phone number, because she was here to pick her up for bridge but she wasn’t answering the door. I called and got a busy signal; she decided to wait.
About ten minutes later, she came back and wondered if I could try again, because there was still no answer. The line was still busy. I started to worry a bit, but I don’t have a key to her house — so the termite guy volunteered to go into the back yard to see if he could see anything, and I went to a neighbor who would have a key.
While I was waiting for that neighbor to answer his door, the lady came out of my neighbor’s house (luckily, her back door had been open) yelling “call 9-1-1”. So I ran home, grabbed a phone, and called 9-1-1. My neighbor was on the floor, not moving but breathing. The dispatcher asked me to help her onto her back, which I did — and then the paramedics and police arrived and took charge of the situation. She’s at the hospital now.
I’m glad I was at home and could help.
[Update: My neighbor had a stroke and is in the ICU; she is doing well, all things considered. What is proving difficult is reaching her children — we had to dig through her phone index to find their numbers at all, and then no cell phones were listed, and nobody was home during the day. Folks, if you live alone, it’s a good idea to have a list of contact numbers and instructions in some prominent place (like the refrigerator door) in case of emergency.]