Thanks to the quick thinking and action of her Meals on Wheels driver, June is alive and can continue to enjoy the simple things in life.
“When I hear the birds singing, I think that’s a miracle,” June said.
That’s because June may not have survived if it hadn’t been for her driver.
June suffered a heart attack earlier this year and was lying unconscious on the floor of her house when volunteer driver, Emily Lampert, arrived to deliver the daily meal. When June didn’t answer the door, Emily started a series of events that would save June’s life.
“If Emily hadn’t made that call, I wouldn’t be here,” June said. “She saved my life.”
After June didn’t answer the door or her phone, Emily called her AgeSpan contact, and eventually June’s brother was notified. He was able to get into the house and find June.
Our volunteer drivers not only deliver a meal but are trained to provide a daily wellness check. For some individuals, the driver may be the only person who sees them on a regular basis.
“I was very happy (everything turned out OK),” Emily said. “I know the value of the program for sure after that.”
It’s not uncommon for someone not to answer their door or phone. Emily, who has been delivering meals for a year, said it happens about twice a week on her route.
“I really didn’t even have to think about it,” Emily said about making the call to get June help. “It’s something we’re supposed to do.”
June was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and underwent triple-bypass surgery. She was at the hospital for a week or two and then spent another week at a rehabilitation center.
The gratitude June has for everybody who was involved, from Emily to the staff at Beth Israel, in saving her life is obvious in a message she left for the head of the Meals on Wheels program at AgeSpan.
It has been a couple of months and June is now on the mend, taking short walks to her mailbox and will soon be starting cardiac rehabilitation.
“I was determined,” June said. “This wasn’t going to stop me.”
Emily hasn’t stopped, either. There was a lull in the service while June was rehabilitating, but Emily is now delivering meals to her once again.
“She has thanked me very much,” Emily said. “It’s a relief to see that the system works.”
Meals on Wheels drivers deliver home-delivered meals and a wellness check to eligible adults through agencies like AgeSpan across Massachusetts. Contact AgeSpan at 800-892-0890 or your local aging services agency or senior center for information about home-delivered meals.