PERU- Every Sunday morning Pat Dolloff would get up and walk to the end of her driveway to get the newspaper. Living on busy Route 108, vehicles flew by at breakneck speed, living their lives and too concerned with where they were going to take notice of her presence or her ritual.
For more than a year now, Troy and Andrea Duguay of Rumford, have been traveling that same route to watch their daughter play in an indoor field hockey league in Portland. They, too, never really gave much thought to who lives along the route or what their daily lives consisted of.
Two weeks ago, the Duguays happened to be running behind schedule, but when they saw Dolloff crawling on the ground toward her house from the busy road, they took notice and acted on their instincts to help someone in need.
“As we were driving by I said to Troy, ‘Oh my gawd, that person was on the ground back there,’ and he asked if she was getting up and I told him ‘no.’
Without any hesitation, Troy turned around, even before Andrea could finish telling him she thought they should go back. Pulling into the driveway, neither of them spoke as they both reached for their doors to jump out and help.
“We asked her if she was okay,” stated Andrea. “She said she fell while getting her paper and at least three cars drove right by her and she couldn’t get them to stop. She still had the paper in her hand while she sat there and told us she thought she did something to her ankle.”
Troy and Andrea told her they were going to help her up and put their arms through hers, but upon getting her to her feet, Dolloff let out a blood-curdling scream, not able to put weight on her right ankle.
“I looked down at her ankle,” noted Andrea. “I told my husband it was pretty deformed and looked broken. I told her she definitely did something to her ankle, but didn’t want to scare her with details of what it looked like.”
It was at that time that Dolloff looked up at the Duguays and stated, “Well, I guess I’m not going shopping today.”
As the Duguays were getting her off the ground, Dolloff’s husband appeared on the porch and asked what happened. The Duguays informed him that an ambulance should be called or they could help get her into a vehicle to go to the hospital.
Dolloff’s husband, not being able to drive, went back into the house to call his daughter, Marylou, who lives next door. Troy held Dolloff up, while Andrea went to the porch to get a chair for her to sit in.
While they waited, Dolloff’s son-in-law, Ed, pulled up and after hearing what happened, offered to get her into his truck, but she couldn’t climb in without severe pain.
Meanwhile, Dolloff’s other son-in-law, Danny, came to help and realized his wife, Marylou, would have to bring her car down.
“Seeing that she was well taken care of and her family had things under control, we wished her well and we got back on the road and headed to Portland,” stated Andrea. “We could not help but think about her all day, wondering how she was doing.”
With Dolloff safely in Marylou’s car, they were on their way to Lewiston.
“I think we went 80 all the way down,” laughed Dolloff. “We had the flashers on and only three cars pulled out of the way. I was in so much pain. I just wanted to get there. We ran a couple red lights and I told her I didn’t care, I would pay any fines she got.”
Upon her arrival at Central Maine Medical Center, Dolloff had x-rays that revealed she shattered her ankle and would need surgery. She received multiple pieces of hardware to repair her ankle during surgery.
“I’ve never done anything like this,” stated Dolloff. “I’ve always been the one to take care of everyone else. Now it’s their turn to take care of me, I guess.”
Dolloff returned home the next day, thankful to the Duguays for their thoughtfulness and help in getting her to safety.
Looking back, Dolloff stated, “I really had no idea how I was going to get back inside the house that day. I hurt so bad. I’m just so happy those two came along. I didn’t know who they were, but someone here did. I couldn’t believe so many cars had passed by without even slowing down.”
When asked why they decided to stop and help, Andrea noted, “We have older family members that we worry about this happening to, as well, and would hope that somebody would do the same for them as we did for her on that day.”
“If anyone ever sees someone that may look like they could use help, please just stop and see if there is anything you can do to help them. It only takes a minute to stop and just make sure they are okay. If they are, great. But, if they aren’t, you can make a huge difference in their life.”
Dolloff is expected to make a complete recovery. She, along with her husband and entire family extend their heartfelt gratitude to the Duguays for their selfless actions that day.