TEWKSBURY — On Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, Michelle Moriarty went to work her Saturday morning shift at Reds Laundromat, located at 1768 Main St. in Tewksbury. Moriarty had no idea as she came through the doors of the laundromat that Saturday, it would be a life changing day.
As she does every Saturday morning shift, she came to work with a cup of coffee for one of the regular customers, Rod, as he would come in every Saturday morning like clockwork to do his weekly laundry.
The friendly, family-type atmosphere at the laundromat is inspired by the way the Reds' owner and the other laundromat employees care about each other and the customers. Even though Moriarty has only been working there for about a year, she finds herself caring about the well-being of the customers like they were family.
Because of this, Moriarty thought it odd that Rod did not show up at the laundromat that morning, and began to worry.
According to Moriarty, Rod had some physical limitations, but seemed to live independently, and prided himself on doing things on his own.
After seeing no sign of Rod all morning, Moriarty saw another one of her regular customers come into the laundromat. Moriarty recalled that this customer also lived in the same building as Rod, and out of concern, asked if they had seen Rod recently.
When their reply was no, Moriarty asked them if they could please check in on him when they went home, as it was not like him to skip the laundromat on Saturday.
When Moriarty came in for her next shift two days later on Monday, Sept. 16, Rod’s neighbor stopped by to say that Rod’s sister wanted to thank Moriarty for saving Rod’s life.
According to two of his neighbors, Barbara and Carol, Rod was found on the floor of his home, unresponsive, and was taken to the hospital. Moriarty was also told that emergency responders believed he could have been there for up to a day or longer.
Moriarty feels that there is no need for thanks, stating, “I was raised that if you see something wrong, you say something.”
Moriarty said of her job, “If you had told me when I started this job a year ago that I was going to love working at a laundromat and care deeply about all the people that come here and work here, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. But here it is a year later, and it is true.”
As for the condition of Rod, Moriarty said on Monday he is now in rehab.
Moriarty would like him to know that she and all the other employees and customers of the laundromat wish him well and hope he is back at the laundromat soon.