One day a call came in at the police station. Hardly anyone could have guessed what the call would be about. Usually the police were called when there was an emergency or a crime. This time, however, the case was much simpler and at the same time much more difficult.
“Hello!” the woman on call greeted the officer on duty in a shaky voice. “I need help, I haven’t left the house in days and I have nothing to eat at all. Can you help me?”
The officer on duty took the call, wrote down the information and sent a patrol to the address. The closest vehicle to the destination was with Officer Steve Jones and Garrett Franklin. The officers heard from the dispatcher that the call was related to an elderly woman who had not left her home in days and had nothing to eat. A short time later, a patrol with police officers was on the scene.
What was their surprise when they saw that the address listed on the call was a beautiful house with a well-kept garden in an upscale area of town. In their minds this did not sit well with their ideas of the living conditions of a person who was starving to death.
They approached the house and pressed the bell. It took some time before they heard unhurried footsteps, then the door opened. A little old lady appeared in the doorway, she was barely on her feet.
“Good afternoon!” said Garrett softly. “We received a call from Mrs. Hilda Ross. Is that you?”
“Yes,” the old woman answered faintly. “Please come inside.” The officers followed the landlady in. Then they saw that the woman had her left arm carelessly bandaged.
They went into the living room and sat down. Officer Steve turned to the woman, “Mrs. Ross, are you hurt?”
A blush of embarrassment flooded the old woman’s face. “Yes,” she answered faintly. “I was working in the garden pruning a bougainvillea and I fell down the stairs.”
“I see,” pronounced Steve. “There was no one else with you?”
The woman shook her head negatively. “I have a son. But he’s on a business trip right now, he’ll be here in two weeks.”
Garrett joined the conversation, “Mrs. Ross, did you call for a doctor?”
“No,” she replied. “I think it’s a common sprain. It just hurts badly, I can’t even walk, and besides, my refrigerator’s empty and I haven’t had any food for two days.”
“So you haven’t eaten in two days?” exclaimed Garrett emotionally. “And why haven’t you reached out to your neighbors?”
“The thing is, we just recently moved into this house, and I haven’t had time to get to know anyone. I can’t walk to the store, my arm hurts so much. My son doesn’t know anything about it. I didn’t bother him, since he just got the job.
The woman didn’t want to alarm her son while she herself was in a dangerous situation.
Steve turned to Hilda, “Ma’am, we’ll call an ambulance and they’ll take you to the hospital.”
“No!”, Mrs. Ross suddenly cried out. Tears came to her eyes. “Not again, please! After my husband passed away, I’m scared to death of ambulances. He died in one of those cars.”
The officers looked at each other. “All right, in that case we’ll drive you ourselves, how do you feel about that?”
“But I just need groceries, I have money,” Mrs. Ross squeaked.
“Please, ma’am,” Steve urged her. “You’ll be examined there, and then we’ll take you to the supermarket. All right?”
The old woman obeyed the policemen. They carefully led her to the car and placed her in the back seat. A few minutes later they were at a nearby hospital, explaining the situation to a doctor. In the emergency room, the doctor examined Mrs. Ross’s arm and referred her to the X-ray room. “It’s a simple sprain,” the woman resisted. But the doctor’s face expressed concern.
He turned to the woman, “Mrs. Ross, I know you haven’t eaten in two days, but you need to bear it a little longer until I examine your scans.”
The doctor’s fears were confirmed. He diagnosed the woman with a compound fracture of her arm and shoulder. Mrs. Ross was immediately taken away for emergency surgery. A few hours later, the two officers returned to the hospital where Mrs. Ross was being held.
The doctor assured them that the operation had gone well and that the woman was now resting and regaining strength. Steve asked the doctor, “She was hungry. Was she fed?”
“No, since she was under anesthesia, she couldn’t be fed. Right now Mrs. Ross is under an IV. As soon as she regains consciousness, we’ll be sure to give her food.”
The officers tracked down Mrs. Ross’s son’s number and called him to tell him what had happened. The man was desperate. He said he was in Alaska, and it would take him three days to get to the nearest airport. Steve and Garrett then promised him that they would take care of his mother themselves until he arrived.
When Mrs. Ross regained consciousness, the first people she saw were police officers. “Oh! Are you still here?” she whispered.
“As you can see,” Garrett replied with a smile. “We will stay with you until your son returns. He’s on his way and he’s very worried about you.”
The woman became worried. “He’s going to scold me…”
Steve smirked in response. “Don’t worry, ma’am. We’ll protect you. Right now you need to eat. The nurse says you can have some soup.”
For the next three days the police officers appeared regularly in Mrs. Ross’s room. In the evenings they took turns visiting the old woman, spoiling her with treats and flowers. Soon the woman’s condition improved and she was full of strength. By the day her son arrived, Mrs. Ross had been discharged from the hospital.
“Mother!” her son said with tears in his eyes. “I have no excuse for leaving you all alone.”
“But I wasn’t alone, son,” Mrs. Ross replied proudly. “Steve and Garrett were around all those three days. They took turns coming to check on me.”
David was surprised. “Steve and Garrett? Who are you talking about, Mom? Have you met the neighbors?”
“They’re the cops who came to see me after I asked for help,” the woman explained. “They’re my friends now.”
That same evening, David met the officers in person. He thanked Steve and Garrett heartily, “I am so grateful to you! You saved my mom and really helped me out. Thank you so much!”
“That’s all right, sir,” Steve replied. “It’s our daily job.”
“We were just doing our jobs: guarding and protecting people,” Garrett seconded his colleague. “Besides, we’re aware of how stubborn mothers can be sometimes. So we kept an eye on Mrs. Ross so she wouldn’t get in trouble.”
Soon Mrs. Ross fully recovered. And Officers Steve and Garrett, who had become close friends with the woman, often visited her.