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A Most Unusual Support System

            A recent story that made the news and spread quickly via the Internet reminds us of the importance of having a support system in place because you just never know when you might need it.

            In this case it came from a very unlikely source.  A Domino’s Pizza shop in Oregon noticed that one of their very good customers hadn’t placed an order in 11 days.  You wouldn’t think this is abnormal.  I haven’t ordered a Domino’s Pizza since my college days when their tag line was “Delivery in 30 minutes or less or the pizza is free”.  (They changed that a number of years ago after their drivers were involved in accidents which may or may not have been caused by their rush to get the pizzas delivered “on time”.)

            But I digress.  In this case 11 days was unusual for Kirk Alexander who placed orders with the Oregon pizza shop every day.  The shop’s managers took it upon themselves to first call Alexander but couldn’t get through to him.  They then sent one of their delivery drivers to his home.  The driver knocked on Alexander’s door but there was no answer despite the lights being on.  He then called 911 and sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the home.

            Long story short the deputies determined that Alexander was experiencing medical problems that required immediate medical attention.  EMTs were called to transport him to the local hospital.  By the next day Alexander was in stable condition.  Although the nature of his condition was not reported some media stories stated that the Domino’s employees quite possibly saved Mr. Alexander’s life.

            The story, while heartwarming, is a cautionary tale for everyone who has loved ones or close friends – especially the elderly – who live alone.  Even a few days with no contact to the outside world can have dramatic consequences.  Think about it.  If Mom is living alone, has a medical emergency today and can’t reach the phone to call someone how many days is it between visits or phone calls with children and other family members?

            We should all coordinate with other family members to make sure that there is daily contact with Mom at all times as well as a system in place such as Life Alert.  Of course, an alternative is to frequent a local business on a regular basis like Alexander did but I’m not sure eating pizza and garlic knots on a daily basis is the best approach either.  But it is good to know that there are caring people who are willing to go “the extra mile” to look out for others.