Yelm-area resident Dawn Young wrote a moving Letter to the Editor of the Nisqually Valley News letter, published January 21st based on her astute observation and quick thinking when she encountered a seemingly confused man on near Four Corners.
While we may not agree on issues around town, one thing in which we ALL can agree is we are neighbors and as Dawn suggested, we have to take care of each other. Ms. Young has given permission for her letter to shared with Yelm Community Blog readers, as well:
“Wednesday morning I was taking care of business in town, on my way home I saw a man standing on the side of the road at Four Corners in Yelm, long red beard, green John Deer cap, yellow plastic bag in hand, he looked cold and confused, so I stopped.
He said he had been trying to get home for more than six hours Home from where?
He was coming from Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia.
He said he was admitted Tuesday night via ambulance for high blood pressure, the Yelm Fire Department drove him from home to meet with the ambulance, because they thought he was having a heart attack.
His name is Mike, he is in his 60s, he lives off of Longmire Road in Yelm, he doesnt drink or use drugs.
He has no health insurance.
He was treated for dehydration then he was discharged at 4 a.m., with no ride home and directions to the bus.
Buses do not start running till around 6 a.m. and this man had no coat.
He said he could not call his wife because their phone was not working. He had called a taxi, but he did not have the money to pay.
He had called 9-1-1 to see if they could help him get home because he was freezing and was stuck.
Would it have taken him collapsing on the side of the road and 9-1-1 being dispatched for a second emergency?
This man was so appreciative for the ride home, and that I was not afraid of him, he teared up.
His wife was shocked to see him, she was just on her way to pick him up; no one told her he was discharged when she called.
I am shocked. St Petes has great staff and care, how could this happen? Does it happen all the time?
Picking up strangers on the side of the road is not something I teach my daughters to do; reaching out and caring for our neighbors is.
If I had passed him, how long would he have stood there?
Preventing illness and emergency is a lot cheaper than waiting for disaster.”