I’m sure we have all seen the television commercial where the elderly woman is crying out, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” I always said that will never be me. Well, on the night of Sept. 2, that was me.

After a late-night Thursday dinner, I decided to go for a 1-mile walk to work off the excess calories. A short time into my walk, while crossing the intersection of Vose and Providence streets, I miscalculated the step-up to the sidewalk and lost my balance resulting in me crashing down very hard on Vose Street.

As hard as I tried, I could not get to a standing or even a sitting position; I could not even reach for my cell phone to call 911 as the pain of my injuries were too great. I sustained a number of injuries, the most serious being re-damaging my right shoulder, a shoulder I had separated five years ago from a fall down my home stairs.

As I lay there alone in the dark on the road, two ominous thoughts crossed my mind. What if a bad person sees my lying there helpless and defenseless? I was the proverbial “sitting duck,” or more appropriately in my case, the proverbial “sprawled out duck.” I was totally defenseless and would have been at their mercy. The other ominous thought that came to my mind was any unsuspecting passing motorist could run me over, this making me “one with the pavement” of Vose Street.

A few minutes later, a vehicle approached and fortunately stopped in time. A female good Samaritan called out, “Are you OK, do you need any help?” I responded, “Thank you for stopping and yes, I am hurt and need help as I have fallen and am unable to get up.” I want to thank that good Samaritan for stopping and calling 911; we definitely need more good Samaritans as this lady clearly is.

In less than four minutes, two Woonsocket Police SUVs arrived at the scene. The officers asked me what happened, what are my injuries, and do I want to go to the hospital to get checked out? I told them, if they could help me get to a standing position, I could better assess my injuries. The two officers gingerly helped me to a standing position. I then told them if they could just take me home, I will wait until the next day to determine whether I want to go to the hospital or not. The police officers gently put me in the back seat of one of the SUVs and asked me repeatedly on the short trip back to my home whether or I would be OK and whether I want to go to the hospital.

When we arrived at my home, the two officers gently guided me out of the back seat of the SUV, guided me up to my back door and insured that I got into my house safely. Their last words to me were, “Are you sure you’re going to be OK and are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?” My last words to them were: “Thank you very much for helping me, please stay safe.” And with that, they departed and went back to “protecting and serving” the good people of Woonsocket. I was never so grateful to anyone in my life as I was to those two Woonsocket police officers who helped me that night.

In conclusion, I want to say: police officers put their safety and their lives on the line every second that they are on duty. To the two fine Woonsocket police officers who helped me that night and to the Woonsocket Police Department as a whole, I say: thank you, stay safe, stay strong, stay well, and know that many, many people such as myself support, admire and respect you for the good and brave work that you do on our behalf.

Peter M. Fedyszyn

Woonsocket

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