Strange calls to Good Samaritan lead police to senior in medical distress
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:14PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:52AM AST
A Good Samaritan says she never expected a phone call she initially thought was a prank would end up helping someone in distress.
Shannon Tansley of Nackawic, N.B., says the call came in the middle of the night -- at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday -- on her daughter’s phone.
The call went to voicemail and she was scared, so she played it for Tansley.
“Somebody was in distress, somebody was gasping for air or, I can't really explain it,” Tansley said. “It was horrifying to listen to.”
The person called more than once and the family initially thought it was a prank phone call.
But they looked up the number and were able to find the person's name and address leading them to believe it wasn't a prank at all.
“We ended up calling the cops,” Tansley said. “They told us that they were going to do a wellness check. I told them I really thought they needed to go right away.”
New Brunswick RCMP confirm they did a well-being check on an individual who was later taken to hospital.
“I think it was within the hour that they called back,” Tansley said. “He said, thank you for calling. They're very lucky, the man. He was in his 80s; he was very lucky that we had made the phone call and that he had called us.”
Tansley doesn't know why the call came to her daughter's cellphone and she doesn't know how the individual is doing, but she feels better knowing she did something about it.
And while CTV News has not been able to verify the age of the individual or his condition, we did reach out to seniors' advocates, who say the incident serves as a reminder to check on your neighbours.
“There are gaps and people are going to fall into that gap and be lost in it,” said Jean Porter Mowatt, CEO and founder of Senior Watch.
For 30 years, Senior Watch has cared for people in their home and in hospital, but Porter Mowatt says everyone can play a part.
“There will always be someone living alone unless a friend says I'm going to look after Mary or John and I will make sure I'm checking all the time,” she said. “I'll be there for him and her.”
It’s especially important with the Maritimes’ unpredictable weather, says the New Brunswick Medical Society's CEO.
“It’s important to check in, stay in touch with each other, with family members, so that there's a support network for individuals who may be living alone and may require some assistance should they have an adverse health situation,” said Anthony Knight.
Tansley would like to meet the individual or their family, but at the very least, she feels at peace with the part she played.
“It’s very fulfilling to know and go to bed after that knowing that you helped somebody,” Tansley said. “I don't know the outcome of it, but I still know I could have helped, and I did my part.”
It’s a middle-of-the-night phone call she says she'll never forget.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.