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Sanitation worker spots shed door fly open then notices woman lying on floor & slams his brakes
The suspicious sight prompted him to slam his brakes to take a closer look.
Irene Markianou
05.10.22

Dementia is one of those conditions that not only destroy the life of the person suffering from it, but also affect the lives of their family, who are constantly alert in case their loved one goes missing.

Unsplash - Danie Franco
Source:
Unsplash - Danie Franco

People suffering from dementia will at some point forget who they are, who their relatives are, where they live, and even where they are at any given time.

That’s why their family and those close to them, in general, need to be extra careful with them. They need to provide someone to take care of the sick person, and they will probably spend most of their time wondering if their loved one is safe.

Unsplash - Steven HWG
Source:
Unsplash - Steven HWG

Sadly, it is not uncommon for people with dementia to go missing. Many of them never find their way back home.

One of those people who get lost forever could have been 82-year-old Thelma Bates of Caruthersville, Mo, who went missing earlier this year.

That morning, Bates’ family reported her missing at 4 am, when they realized she was nowhere to be found. The woman had been in freezing temperatures as low as 17 degrees for several hours, and her relatives were starting to lose hope.

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

But her will to survive and a man’s observing skills and kind heart saved her.

Macario Chism, a sanitation worker with Blytheville Waste Pro, was on the road doing his shift that morning. He was driving around the neighborhoods collecting garbage when he heard the news about the missing woman.

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

As he explained, he couldn’t just ignore the fact that an elderly woman had gone missing because that woman could have been his grandmother. And the man couldn’t just let a person freeze to death.

“I had to find that lady,” Chism explained, “because she [would be frozen] or she might be dead.”

So, Chism unofficially joined in the search for the missing woman, along with the local police. As he drove around to do his job, he kept his eyes open hoping to find a clue that would lead him to Bates.

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

And he did.

Only a few blocks away from Bates’ home, the man noticed something weird. There was a suspicious small metal backyard shop building that for some reason he felt had to be taken a closer look at.

“When I was riding, I noticed there was a shop building,” Chism said, “The door swung open then it shut.”

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

He got off the truck and approached the building. Inside, he found the elderly woman. She tried to rise, but she fell back.

First responders came to the spot and, in the warmth of Chism’s truck, tried to comfort the freezing woman until the ambulance came.

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

None of them expected the woman to make it, after being in the cold without shoes and a coat for so long. But Bates proved everyone wrong and she survived with only frostbites on her legs and some cuts.

The woman’s family didn’t know how to thank the man, who they said considered a family member from then on.

YouTube - WREG News Channel 3
Source:
YouTube - WREG News Channel 3

Find out the details of this heartwarming story in the video below.

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By Irene Markianou
[email protected]
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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