CHICAGO (CBS) — Their job is to ensure that Chicago Public School students get home safely, but a group of Safe Passage workers went the extra mile last month and helped save a life in the process.
Kimberly Barnes and Johna McLemore are part of the team that monitors Randolph Elementary students, but they would also keep an eye on Lois Walker.
“We observed that it was just her,” Barnes said. “So we would watch her closely to make sure that she was safe.”
The group also observed that the elderly woman did not have a winter coat. So they all chipped in, bought her one, and stopped by her home to drop it off.
“She didn’t answer,” McLemore said. “We went back a few days later and she didn’t answer again. I called the police and asked them to go in, because I had a feeling that something was wrong.”
Officers found the woman on the floor in serious condition. She had fallen down and was alone for several days. As Walker recovered in the hospital, McLemore and Barnes tracked down her daughter, Monica.
“When I went to the hospital, they told me that if she stayed there one more day, she would have passed away,” Monica said. “We never really had a close relationship, but now I have a second chance.”
“For this to bring them together, it’s just never too late,” McLemore said.
Monica said her mother was still in the hospital, and will be going through rehab since she’s having difficulty walking after her fall.
Barnes and McLemore’s lifesaving efforts were recognized by the Chicago Board of Education on Wednesday.