This is not a story of one at the time of need but many, a team coming together to care for and protect a small 3-year-old boy who was found in a street of traffic in front of Life Care Center of Aurora, Colorado.
On Nov. 20, 2017, as Bruce Schmidt, maintenance director, was coming into the facility, he stopped to pick up a box that was discarded in the entrance. What he saw next was a miracle.
There in the median of Evans Avenue, on which Life Care Center of Aurora is located, stood a young child with only a diaper and a shirt on. Traffic was starting to get busy, and even though the child was in the median, traffic was rushing by as if the child did not exist.
Schmidt quickly rushed through oncoming traffic and picked up the child, who was shivering and shaking from the cold (the temperature that morning was 48 degrees). He quickly waded back through traffic and placed the shivering child in his warm and waiting truck.
A team comes together and acts. Schmidt parked his truck and took the lost child into the facility, where he was met by Cynthia Daily, medical records director. Daily jumped in to help so Schmidt could notify the authorities. Marion Valentine, director of housekeeping and laundry, searched for a fresh diaper and a pair of socks for the lost child. Rosie Heber, the morning receptionist, teamed up with Valentine and retrieved some dry cereal and a banana for the child to eat. David Havrilla, dietitian, found a small stuffed bear, and Tracy Kantor, physical therapist assistant, found a small pair of pants for the child to wear.
Over the next two hours, while the child was checked out by paramedics, the police arrived and started looking at nearby hotels. They found that the child had gotten out of a hotel room his father was in while the parent was sleeping. The boy had ended up outside, alone and cold. The authorities returned him to his father.
“We in our profession are called to health care to care for those who are our elders and loved ones,” said Schmidt. “Not often would anyone expect to find a helpless child in the cold, scared and alone; however, the entire team selflessly stepped in to comfort, accept and care for this lost child. The team helped reunite the child with his father and turned what could have been a tragic day to a day filled with joy, caring and love.”