Montauk – Small Town, BIG HEART! 💖

A thank you note from Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

It is hard to put into words which fully describe how grateful we are to everybody in Montauk who recently came to the aid of my elderly mother. We live several hours away and see her as often as possible over the winter. I also keep in touch with twice a day phone calls to her, one in the morning and again in the evening.  In fact, we just spent four days visiting her and left the day before this incident.

On that day several weeks ago, I had called her about 8:30 a.m. and she told me she was dressed and waiting for the senior nutrition van that picks her up each day to take her to the Playhouse Senior Center. It’s a terrific service for seniors that no longer drive yet are active and involved in the Center’s lunch program and various activities. We have met most of the drivers when we visit my mother and all of them are warm, friendly and kind to their senior passengers. The driver will knock on the door if the person does not hear the bus horn toot. When my mother started using this complimentary senior bus service I had been in touch with the East Hampton Transportation bus dispatcher, Sue, making sure of the pickup times and other information. The bus company has a contact file for each rider of a close family member or contact person in case it is needed.

About two hours after having talked to my mother that morning, Sue from the Transportation Deptartment called to tell me my mother is not answering the door when the driver knocked. The driver dialed mom’s phone and she did not pick up either.  Naturally they were worried, as I was, then Sue said she was calling the police and Montauk’s Fire Department EMS. My heart was racing at this information and I told her I’d call a neighbor across the street to come over with the spare key and go inside with the driver. This neighbor and his wife are lovely people and always caring and thoughtful about my mom, even though they are decades younger and busy with work and their daily routines. In short, the neighbor and van driver found mom on the floor telling them she couldn’t get up, but seemed unhurt otherwise.

Minutes later the police and the Montauk Ambulance had arrived to check my mother out and see if she was okay.  The neighbor had stayed until help arrived and she was safely taken care of by the EMS. A police officer called me, using the phone number list I posted by mom’s phone, and said since she was a senior they felt better if she were sent to the hospital for observation and checked out and I agreed.

Now, by chance, seconds after I had hung up the phone another call came in from a friend in Montauk, Patria, who also goes to mother’s church. Patria had a computer question for my husband that she thought he could answer. No time to chat, I quickly related to her about what happened and why I had to rush off the phone. Before hanging up Patria instantly replied, “We’re going right over to her house!” She and her husband only live a mile away and raced over.  Less than fifteen minutes later Patria calls from her cell phone to say, “I’m going in the ambulance to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital with your mother!  Don’t worry, she won’t be alone.” Patria stayed with her through the emergency room admittance, preliminary exam and till she was settled in her room that evening.  During these procedures I received frequent calls from Patria with updates and later on she took a cell phone photo of Mom resting in her hospital bed and eating dinner.  Patria’s husband drove to the hospital to pick her up when she was ready to go home and mom was in the care of the nurses. When we saw Patria she handed me a six page summary of everything that happened, with details and names of the people that helped my mother. Patria is a writer, so she always has her notebook handy and her documentation was excellent for us to follow what happened and some of the tests that were taken.  According to the notes, the Montauk EMS team that was so wonderful with my mother was Kathy Weiss and Chris and the driver was Tom. Living year round in Montauk, everyone knows everybody and Patria knew all three on the EMS team.

During off season in Montauk it is very quiet and in a hibernation state, with seemingly not much going on until the season begins again. However, it is this time that the year round residents are there for each other one hundred percent, almost like a family! It is not until an emergency like this occurs do people realize the true nature and caring that a small community like Montauk is all about.  The quick response from the bus driver, the East Hampton Transportation Department, my mother’s neighbor, the police department, our friend, Patria, all fell into place to be there to help a senior citizen. My mother was in the hospital for almost a week and I can truly say the doctors, nurses and aides that took care of her continued the wonderful care that she received on her journey arriving there. All of the hospital staff was professional, caring and understanding of the needs of a senior citizen that arrived so unexpectedly with an incident that came on without warning.  My mother is doing well now and recuperating nicely. We thank all those involved and for all their quick response when it was needed. As the saying goes, “the stars seemed to have been aligned that day” when my mother needed help. God Bless all those people that helped her and thank you for the part you played in her care!