“It was One of Those Gut-Wrenching Phone Calls, and I Knew Right Away I Couldn’t Ignore It”

 On 6 May 2013, Ashley Yasick, a 27-year-old banker in Delray Beach, Florida, checked her messages and discovered that she had received a telephone call from a male stranger who needed help. She said, “It was one of those gut-wrenching phone calls, and I knew right away I couldn’t ignore it. I called him back. Clearly he was trying to reach out to somebody.” The man, Thomas Buck, an 84-year-old living in Pennsylvania, had dialed the wrong number. According to his daughter, Leslie Notor, who lives in New Jersey, Mr. Buck had been feeling dizzy and had attempted to call his sister-in-law. According to Ms. Notor, “He said, ‘Audrey, I have fallen a couple of times and can’t get up and I’m short of breath,’ and hung up.” Ms. Yasick called the number back and reached Mr. Buck. She said, “It was a very distressing phone call. I kept asking him, ‘Where are you?’ but he couldn’t really talk. I kept saying, ‘I need you to give me more information.’ He kept telling me he was in the back room of the house.” Mr. Buck was suffering from a urinary tract infection that was poisoning his blood. Ms. Yasick used Google to look up Mr. Buck’s phone number and found an address in Norwood, Pennsylvania. She then looked up the contact information of the Norwood Police Department online and called their non-emergency number: “I said, ‘This is going to sound really weird, but there’s a man I don’t know who may need help.’ I asked if they could send someone to check on him.” Officer Tim Kearney went to the address. Officer Kearney said about Mr. Buck, “He said he was having difficulty breathing. It was a good thing that [Ms. Yasick] called.” Officer Kearney called an ambulance that took Mr. Buck to the intensive care unit at Taylor Hospital in nearby Riley Park. Ms. Notor said, “The final diagnosis was urosepsis  [a life-threatening infection of the blood]. They had to blast him with ungodly antibiotics because he had been slowly deteriorating for the last week.” She added that she asked the police department for information about Ms. Yasick: “This woman had saved our father’s life, and we really wanted to thank her.” Ms. Yasick said, “I was just following my instinct. In my gut, I knew he needed help.”

For Further Information: Maria Herrera, “Delray woman saves the life of 84-year-old more than 1,000 miles away.” Sun Sentinel (Broward Count, Florida). 10 May 2013


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