The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Reporter's notebook - Observant local saves man's life


April 15, 2018

Accepting help can be hard, but one local man is glad a near-stranger decided to push the issue last month.

Bob Messick wrote to The News this month nominating Emily Ramos, his cashier at a local business, for a “Good Citizenship Award” due to actions that may have saved his life or others.

“Other people said that I was ill, but she took action,” he wrote, referring to an incident March 2 when he was struggling to enter his vehicle after a transaction with Ramos at a self-storage facility in Clovis. “I really think she might have saved my life or the life of somebody else, because it was dangerous for me to be driving. I was unaware of how bad I was.”

Ramos said she had only interacted with Messick maybe five times in the past several months, but could tell something was wrong after he left her office.

“He insisted on leaving, but the way he was talking, how pale he was, he didn’t look like his normal self,” Ramos said. “So I just told him I’m going to call somebody to come and check.”

EMTs arrived a few minutes later and brought Messick to the local hospital, where he remained a week after being diagnosed with an intestinal parasite that altered his blood and affected his nervous system, simulating the symptoms of a stroke.

After another week in a nursing facility, Messick has recovered and now resides in a senior home in Portales, closer to his grandson.

“I feel at home in a car, and that was my downfall, actually. I needed somebody to tell me that I cannot do something and follow through, and that woman did,” said Messick, 88, whose first car was a 1929 Ford Model A.

“It’s just like, you hate to give up your independence. I know that most older people are like me. ... But if people are worried about you, listen to them and follow their advice.”

Messick gifted Ramos a clay cross from Mexico in appreciation for her help. She said she was just glad to see him looking and feeling better.

“He had the biggest smile on his face, it was awesome,” she said. “I don’t think I even deserve a thank you. It’s just something I hope somebody else would do as well.”

— Compiled by Staff Writer David Grieder


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