When Loneliness Is The Emergency, Officers Respond
It’s difficult to imagine that a cup of hot tea could save ones life, or even change their day.
When the Manchester Police Department received a 999 emergency call from 95 year old Doris Thomson – they dispatched two officers to the scene.
Stu Ockwell and his partner Andy Richardson, expected the worse. They thought that Mr. Thomson may have had a fall but found “the couple did not need medical attention and in fact the call had been made out of desperation”.
The elderly couple were struggling with loneliness.
“What we found was a lovely elderly couple who were caring for each other, probably finding it a bit difficult to care for each other with their ailments and their age, and that were in need of a bit of company if anything,” said Officer Ockwell.
Married for 70 years to his wife Doris, Fred Thomson is 95 years old and blind – but has no shortage of personality or stories from his days in the military. “He’s an amazing character and had us in fits of laughter,” Ockwell told ITV News.
“It made my day.” A video from ITV News – Police officer hailed ‘hero’ for checking in on ‘lonely’ couple.
The Next Leap Forward
What this situation called for was some conversation and a cup of tea. So they pulled up a chair, brewed up some hot tea and Fred provided the entertainment through his days in World War II. “I was very pleased to know there was help available and pleased to talk to them, because sometimes you can be a bit isolated as you get older,” said Fred Thomson.
Sure, there are those that argue if this is the best use of time for police officers? But then again this story could have had an entirely different ending if the officers were not so kind to respond in the manner they did.
The question to ask yourself – if these were your parents, how would you have wanted the police officers to respond?
A great deal of response was met through social media, here are a few tweets.
James McAuley tweeted: “@gmpolice hats off to Stu Ockwell guys. An amazing story and a very noble guy. Fred & Doris need more like him!”
And Ash Daswani tweeted: “@GMPMiddleton Just read the article about what you did for the elderly couple. Thank you for the wonderful job you all do…”
Juha Remes tweeted: “@GMPMiddleton Excellent job! It makes me so sad that the elderly get so lonely, but I am happy there are still people like you who care.”