MONMOUTH — Leonard Crocker’s guardian angel arrived in white nursing scrubs.
Climbing out of her car at the Monmouth Public Works garage, Hayley Rolfe heaved a sigh and braced herself for the attention focused on her. She insists that what she did when she stopped to assist Crocker after he had a major heart attack on the side of the road was really nothing at all.
What mattered was that she stopped, Crocker told her after a hug.
“So many people are afraid, and they’ll drive by and not say a thing,” he said. “You’re actually an angel on Earth, and I thank you so much.”
“You’re very welcome,” she said. “I’m glad you’re doing well.”
Rolfe’s sister arranged Friday’s meeting between Crocker and the mysterious stranger who may have helped save his life March 17, when he collapsed as he and a public works crew were finishing their work cutting trees along Macomber Road.
Rolfe was surprised when she learned through the media that Crocker was trying to find her, but she could relate to his feelings. Her late husband had received a bone marrow transplant while being treated for the leukemia that ultimately killed him in February 2010.
“We were never able to thank the person who had donated bone marrow,” she said. “That’s why my sister was like, â€˜We need to go meet (Crocker).’”
Rolfe, 28, is about to graduate from Central Maine Community College with an associate degree in nursing. She said that if school hadn’t been out when Crocker had his heart attack, she probably would have been in the unit where he was treated at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, doing her clinical training.
Instead, she was driving to her home in Monmouth after shopping at the Winthrop Hannaford with her boyfriend and their two children. She spotted an older man lying on the ground and pulled over.
Crocker’s co-workers said they were calling 911. Rolfe grabbed a stethoscope from her car and went through the checklist she’s learned for evaluating a person’s condition.
Eventually Crocker came to. He wanted to get up, but Rolfe kept him where he was until the Winthrop ambulance arrived. She told the ambulance crew everything she’d learned in her evaluation and then went home to put away the groceries.
“I understand the gratitude and everything, and wanting to say thank you to somebody who has helped you, but I really didn’t do anything,” Rolfe said.
Crocker said she shouldn’t be as humble about the situation as she is.
“She did what she should, and she’s a credit to the nursing profession,” he said.
Susan McMillan can be contacted at 621-5645 or at: email@example.comTwitter: @s_e_mcmillan