SG trustee rescues neighbor, hopes to spread awareness
by Keith Beebe
SUGAR GROVE—Sugar Grove resident and Village Board member Mari Johnson suspected something was wrong with her neighbor, a man named Bob who is in his late 60s, suffers from health problems and lives alone. Last Saturday, Johnson noticed that she hadn’t seen Bob out for a couple weeks and thought his home was almost “vacant looking.”
“Usually I would at least see him drive around the block. Saturday, I had peeked through his garage and saw that his car was there. I thought something might be wrong, but another neighbor told me not to worry, so I did not go to the door,” she said.
The feeling that something was wrong kept nagging at Johnson throughout the weekend, however, and by Monday she decided to check out the neighbor’s mailbox, which was “jammed with mail.” His garbage cans weren’t out, either, so she finally decided to go to his door. There was no answer, but the house was unlocked. Inside, Johnson and her husband, Kevin, discovered Bob lying unconscious on the middle of his kitchen floor.
“I called the paramedics, and later his daughter told me that the doctors thought he may have been laying there for two days. One more day and he would (have) most likely not made it,” Mari said.
Mari said she didn’t want to be front and center for saving her neighbor’s life, and instead hopes that the incident will be an example of how important it is for people to be aware of their neighbors, especially when they are alone or in poor health.
“All I did is to pay attention to what’s around me,” she said.
Mari said it’s important for people to take note of anything that appears out of the ordinary—newspapers piled up on the lawn, garbage cans not put out on trash pick-up days, etc.
“Even if they’re not in their 80s, you should be aware of any potential signs that something might be wrong. You don’t have to be a nosy neighbor, but you can be an aware neighbor,” she said.
According to Mari, Bob is still in the hospital. However, his status is slowly improving.