By Wendy Elliott
Something prevented Stephen Dykens from hanging up on a wrong number recently - and he’s glad he did.
The Wolfville resident was driving between New Minas and his home when his hands-free phone rang. An elderly woman was on the other end of the line.
“She was scared. She couldn’t find her daughter and she thought she was having a stroke,” Dykens recalled.
“I asked her where she was, she told me Greenwich Road, and it was craziest thing, I lifted my head and I saw the sign for Greenwich Road at that moment in time.”
Dykens turned off Highway 1, looking for the address the woman had given him. He and his passenger, Monty Levy, located the right house and found Eileen O’Hara.
“She was distraught,” he said. “I tried to comfort her, while my passenger dialed 911.”
They stayed with O’Hara, who has been blind for over 50 years, until EHS arrived, and then he contacted the daughter she had been attempting to reach.
A second daughter, Ruth Gaul, said that her mother, who is a cancer patient, turned out to have bleeding in her brain. O’Hara was later stabilized in hospital. Dykens called to check on her condition.
“There are angels,” she said later. “A thank you card is not enough.”
Levy even went to visit O’Hara at Valley Regional Hospital with his girlfriend.
Gaul said she can’t get over the act of kindness that send two rescuers to her mother.
“I’d just left to do some errands.”
Dykens recalled he ignored the impulse to hang up on the wrong number because O’Hara, who’d dialed a single wrong digit, sounded legitimately in need.
“It was the freakiest thing, like I was meant to be there. I listened and I was right there. It was a great feeling.”
He said his instinct now would be to pay attention to what might usually be perceived as a nuisance call.