TAYLORSVILLE — An 80-year-old woman’s phone call to a wrong number ended up being answered by the right person to help her after she had fallen.
Halene Johnson fell in her Taylorsville home Wednesday morning.
"I got up out of bed, and I don't remember what happened. I just remember being on the floor," Johnson said.
"I tried getting on my knees, and my knees are bad, too, and they hurt so bad I couldn't crawl. I just was miserable all over — my hips hurt, my back hurt, everything hurt — and so it took a long time before I thought about calling my son."
Johnson said she struggled for hours to get help and finally was able to get to her phone to call her son.
“I called him, and I got the wrong number,” she said.
Johnson ended up calling West Valley City police detective Dana Pugmire.
"She was asking for her son," Pugmire said, "and at first I was thinking it’s just the wrong number. But she sounded like she was in distress, so I started asking more questions."
Johnson told him she had fallen and was in pain, so the detective sent help and stayed on the phone with her until the fire department arrived.
Pugmire also had dispatch contact Johnson's son, Ron Gomez, and send him to her house.
Gomez arrived at the house as crews were getting ready to transport Johnson to the hospital.
He assumed his mother had called 911 for help.
"I had no idea that this took place until (Pugmire) called me this afternoon to ask how she was doing," Gomez said.
“I consider it a minor miracle that that happened to me because I was calling my son, and I ended up with who I needed without trying,” Johnson said with a chuckle.
Pugmire stayed on the phone with Johnson for about 20 minutes. After getting her name and address, he chatted with her to try to get her to think about something else.
Johnson said she's grateful that Pugmire didn't hang up on her when he realized she had dialed the wrong number.Comment on this story
"He was so nice. He just stayed on the line," she said. "He called the paramedics, and they came, and he stayed on the phone until they got there, and that was so nice. I just want to thank him because that was so nice of him."
Johnson had transposed two numbers of her son's phone number.
"I had access to my phone, so that was good. My son had gotten me one of these Life Alert (systems), and I didn't even think to push the button," she said with a laugh.
Gomez said doctors aren't sure what happened, but his mother is doing well.
Pugmire said he was just doing what anyone else in his position would do.
"Maybe she called the right number today. Maybe it was just luck," he said. "Maybe it was just meant to be."