Helping hands

I am writing this letter in reference to the article in the Sun-Gazette and the Lock Haven Express titled, “I need a ride to visit my wife.”

The story was about an elderly 84-year-old gentleman from Montoursville who needed a ride to the Williamsport Hospital to visit his wife, who had a medical emergency and was admitted to the hospital.

Happenings such as these are not an everyday occurrence in this country, but when they do happen they should be handled just the same way that the Montoursville Police Department handled this one.

Police Chief Jeff Cyurina and Deputy Chief Jason Bentley are to be commended for doing what they did for this 84-year-old gentleman. I’m sure this 84-year-old, retired senior citizen was impressed and appreciated the guidance which they gave him by holding onto his hand and arm as they walked into the emergency department of the Williamsport Hospital.

I have recently experienced a similar condition of needing some help when I had to have open heart surgery for 4 blockages. I am 85 years old. I was in the Williamsport Hospital for a month and then was transferred to the Rose View Manor for another month.

During this time I went from weighing 210 pounds down to 147 pounds. I live alone and I had a lot of help from my sister and one of my favorite nieces.

As I slowly improved over time, I slowly took over most things that I had been unable to do without the help that I received. I was alone at night but could move about with the aid of a walker or a cane. As I progressed I started driving my van, and I would go to Jersey Shore to get groceries and do my banking. Because of my age and walking with the aid of my cane, I suddenly noticed how thoughtful men of all ages would open doors and allow me to enter any establishment ahead of them.

They also offered to carry my groceries many times to the parking lots. This somewhat shocked me at first. I started counting the times that people would offer to help me. I had 24 men of all ages offering me help when I quit counting.

I must mention one incident that happened one afternoon when I parked on Mount Pleasant Avenue next to the Chinese restaurant for some eggrolls. When I left the restaurant there was about a 4-inch high curb which I had to step over when I left the restaurant. Not paying attention, I lost my balance and fell on the paved street, landing on my right side.

I managed to sit up, but it was impossible for me to get up because of the condition of my legs. I could not stand the pain when I tried to get on my knees, I would start to black out.

There I sat wondering what I was going to do. I could have been hit by a car. Out of nowhere, a white pickup truck turned off Allegheny Street to go in the Chinese restaurant. As he passed me, he stopped to get in the restaurant, instantly he came running to my aid. He said, “Are you okay?” I said, “I’m okay but I cannot get up on my feet. My legs are weak because I just had open heart surgery. I will be okay once I get on my feet.”

This kind gentleman was a good sized man about 40 years old. He got behind me and put his arms under mine, because he couldn’t reach around my chest because of my surgery.

He actually raised me off my feet in one movement. He was very strong and I thanked him and shook his hand and never thought of getting his name. I wish he would read what I am writing so he could get in touch with me.

Thank the good Lord that there are unknown heroes like they have in Montoursville and Jersey Shore. I will always admire those lovely people who helped me in time of need. I remember some of the unfortunate moments in my life when I received help when I needed it.

I want to thank the Montoursville Police Department for what they did by helping the 84-year-old disabled man in Montoursville. I also thank everyone who stepped forward without being asked to render assistance to me and others who were complete strangers to them. Our country would be much better off than it is today if there were more people like the ones that I wrote about helping others in need.

Weldon C. Cohick