STONEHAM, MA - Elizabeth Road resident Pauline “Mima” LaCarbonara was in rough shape late last month after she collapsed in her home and was unable to pick herself off the ground.
The 91-year-old great grandmother, a diabetic who had not eaten or hydrated properly in recent days, sounded out of character and confused when her granddaughter, Wilmington resident Tiffany Rose Rotondi, called to inquire about her well-being on Feb. 19.
But as Rotondi’s sibling and mother arrived at the quiet Elizabeth Road neighborhood to help, they panicked upon finding the house completely locked up. Thankfully, that was when Rotondi’s eight-year-old son, Shawsheen School third grader and Cub Scout Benjamin Andrus-Rotondi, rushed into action.
“He broke into her back window while three adults were pondering how to get in, as she had fallen and the house was locked up,” beamed Rotondi, who credits her son with saving her grandmother’s life.
“Benjamin went into her garage and grabbed a screw driver and ran to her back deck. [He then] popped the screen open and then the glass window,” his mother explained. “He squeezed in and ran to his great grandmother to ask if she was okay.”
The Cub Scout, a member of the Tiger Scouts Den 8, Pack 136 in Wilmington, reportedly cried, “Meme, I’m here; help is on the way,” before running into the living room and pushing his relative’s Life Alert call button to notify authorities about her condition.
According to his mother, her son quickly noticed that LaCarbonara’s confusion and disorientation as likely signs of dehydration.
“My great grandmother fell from not eating and drinking and is having a diabetic issue and talking funny, so I know she is dehydrated and that’s probably the reason she fell,” the third grader told representatives at the Life Alert call center, who subsequently notified local police and firefighters. “Now come quick, as I’m scared she might go into a bad shock!”
The Wilmington boy, who has a young brother and sister, then ran to the front door, where he let in his surprised grandmother, aunt, and uncle, who were still struggling to find a way to get into the house. The family then waited for an ambulance to arrive, when EMTs were quick to point out that the eight-year-old’s quick actions just may have saved his great grandmother’s life.
“The last thing Benjamin said to the EMT is, ‘I don’t know if she got hurt on the fall, so careful when you pick her up,’” recounted Rotondi.
© The Stoneham Independent