Woman Trusts Instinct, Helps Rescue Freezing Bartlesville Man With Dementia
TALALA, Oklahoma - Strangers became good Samaritans when they saw a man walking along a highway in freezing temperatures last week and offered to help.
The strangers said their worst fear is that without their intervention, the man could have died.
On that cold, blustery Thursday, Jamie Watts drove past an elderly man who looked disoriented and was without a jacket on the side of U.S. Highway 169.
She drove past him twice, hoping someone else might stop to help. When she drove away the second time, something told her to go back.
"It was God telling me, 'Hey, go back,'" Watts said.
She picked up her mom, drove back and pulled over near a Talala smoke shop. She had her guard up when she approached him.
"And once we got him in the vehicle and started talking with him, we could really tell that there was something wrong with him," Watts said.
Watts brought the man to the nearest police station, where she met Dawn Orwig at Talala City Hall.
"She said she thought he was drunk or something, and I thought, ‘OK, let me call one of our Talala officers,'" Orwig said.
While they waited for police, the man handed the women his wallet. Inside, there was a piece of paper with a phone number that said "daughter."
Orwig made the call.
“She said that, you know, he has dementia,” Orwig said. “I said, well here's where he's at, he's in Talala."
The daughter told them her dad must have walked along the highway for more than 20 miles -- without a coat -- from their home in Bartlesville to Talala.
The women were shocked.
“I just can't believe people didn't stop to think about it or stop to check on him,” Orwig said.
But one person did.
Watts said she's glad she trusted her instinct to go back.
"Something tells you, 'Go back, go back,'” Watts said. “And who could talk to you down deep in your soul like that unless it's something greater than us?"