The Goodest Girl Saves Elderly Neighbor After An Outdoor Fall
It seems to be a common theme that the most reported news isn't overflowing with positivity. Which isn't great, because there's so much good that happens between all the bad, that we shouldn't let the bad eclipse it. There's nothing more positive than animals being the beautiful creatures that they are and helping out in ways they don't really understand.
Perhaps you've heard about the polar vortex that the hit most of the United States two weeks ago. Those temperatures were no joke. Americans get a billion colds per year, but these temperatures weren't merely going to let you catch a chill. They would cause hypothermia and frostbite in a matter of minutes. Certainly more extreme than sweater weather.
An estimated 20% of the U.S. population will be older than age 65 by 2030. The growing elderly population presents a certain problem. With advancing age comes greater susceptibility to illness, injury, and accidental death. Unfortunately, isolation is also common among elderly populations. Factor in extreme temperatures and these incidents happen more frequently.
An estimated nine out of 10 people over the age of 65 want to stay in their home as long as possible. This is where accidents live and tragedies happen all too often, with few around to save the day.
Minnesota recently had temperatures that were colder than Antarctica and as the vortex passed through those temperatures evened out to a balmy zero degrees. Tim Curfman, a resident of Alexandria, Minnesota, was taking out the trash when his black labrador started acting strangely. He said his dog -- named Midnight -- seemed spooked, with ears perked, eyes gazing at him intently. Curfman followed Midnight around the house, where the dog led him to their 87-year-old neighbor, Noreen, who had fallen while filling her bird feeder and couldn't get up. Again, it was zero degrees.
"We figured she was out there at least a half an hour," Curfman said. "She could not have gotten up because her gloves had gotten wet and she didn't have enough strength in her fingers to push herself up. Nothing around the corner to get up and get a hold of either," Curfman reported.
Noreen had tried crawling to her garage, but the bitter cold sapped her strength and half an hour is plenty of time to die from exposure in such extreme temperatures. Curfman and his wife jumped into action and got Noreen into the house, changed her into warm clothes, and stayed with her while her body temperature recouped.
Noreen reported she wanted to fill the bird feeder when the snow beneath her shifted, causing her to fall. There was nothing around her to grab onto to help pull herself onto her feet, which is when she said Midnight bounded around the corner, came to her, then ran back around the corner to Curfman.
"I could just tell she wanted me to go with her," Curfman said about Midnight's behavior.
He's fortunate the dog was with him or he may have never known Noreen was there. Apart from needing to warm up, Noreen sustained no injuries. She does, however, have a four-legged friend for life and a four-legged friend she has thanked for her life.
Not all heroes wear capes, but sometimes they have a long tail and floppy ears. Noreen dubbed Midnight exactly that. Her hero.
For full story, pick up a copy of the MONTH XX issue of The Allegan County News/The Union Enterprise/The Commercial Record or subscribe to the e-edition.