Tuesday, July 31, 2001

Dental workers aid lady in need

90-year-old broke her hip

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A dental assistant and receptionist checked on a 90-year-old Pleasant Ridge woman who didn't show up for her appointment, leading to her rescue by firefighters who found the woman lying on her apartment floor, helpless with a broken hip.

        Dorothea Jasper, of the 3100 block of Troy Avenue, was in fair condition Monday at Christ Hospital after surgery Friday. She was taken to the hospital Thursday by Cincinnati Fire District 4.

        Ms. Jasper declined to be interviewed, nurses at the hospital said. Her niece, Jeanne Jasper McGahie, said she is still coming out of shock.

        Mrs. McGahie said she was in Troy, Ala., when her aunt fell.

        “I am pleased with how the people at the doctor's office and the police responded. They saved her life. The police save more lives than people realize.”

She had Lifeline
               She said her aunt usually wears a Lifeline around her neck, but had removed it while taking a shower.

        Lifeline is a reduced telephone service for low-income customers. For seniors in distress or when they have fallen and can't reach a telephone, they can push a button and be connected to the Lifeline service, which can connect them to police or other emergency services.

        “She lay on the floor from about noon Tuesday until they found her Thursday afternoon. She told me she wasn't in any pain and slept most of the time,” Mrs. McGahie said.

Phone unanswered
               Billie Mueller, a receptionist, and Christol Gouch, a dental assistant at the office of Franklin, Plotnick & Carl on Ridge Road, said they became concerned when Ms. Jasper did not show up for her Thursday appointment and did not answer a telephone call.

        “When I went and knocked on the door, I could hear her say, "Who is it?' But she never came to the door,” Ms. Gouch said.

        Ms. Gouch said she came back to the office, which is across the street from where Ms. Jasper lives, and told Ms. Mueller.

        The two went back to the house and tried to see if Ms. Jasper would answer, but she still would only say, “Who is it?”

        They called Cincinnati police and reported the incident. Firefighters arrived and used a ladder to climb to a second floor window where they saw Ms. Jasper lying on the floor, apparently conscious but not moving. Firefighters broke a window and entered the house.

        “I am just glad we went to check on her,” Ms. Mueller said. “I think about what might have happened had she not had a dental appointment and nobody checked on her.”


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