Soapbox: A PCV employee saved my life

By David Chowes

On Tuesday, October 24 at 4 p.m., I was alone in my apartment; I was trying to find a particular magazine from a large stack in my bedroom. Having fallen 10 years ago, my balance continued to be affected.

As I bent down, attempting to find this publication, within about one-tenth of a second I fell and everything in the room seemed to explode. Somehow the box-spring ended up on top of the mattress and the blanket and bed cover seemed to disappear.

I tried to get up – but in vain! I was on the carpeted floor and tried to get my bearing – and having hurt my right shoulder I was in continuous and excruciating pain.

But no matter how much effort I made, I just crawled and added to my misery.

I couldn’t leave the bedroom or even go to the bathroom (where my cell phone was being charged). I was unable to get water and there was no food in the room. For hours, I tried with no success.

As time passed, dehydration, no sleep and nothing to eat. If only hadn’t left my cell in the bathroom, I could have phoned 911. The windows had been opened from the afternoon, but as night came so did the chilling cold. But I couldn’t close the windows.

Wednesday came and this torture continued. By Thursday, I realized that there were no options. I was going to die.

But on Friday, exactly four days after my “fall from grace,” at 4 p.m., 96 hours since the accident, there was a knock on my bedroom door. “Police!”

They opened the door and immediately called EMS, who quickly wrapped me in a sheet and dispatched me in a stretcher to an awaiting ambulance.

“We’re taking you to Bellevue; they have an excellent trauma care unit,” said one of the workers.

At Bellevue, I was given x-rays and diagnosed with a shattered right shoulder. I was admitted and given oxycontin. This drug may be potentially quite addictive, but it surely has an ameliorating effect on pain. Bellevue is three blocks away from where I live — and I was there for about three weeks. Subsequent x-rays and MRIs indicated enough improvement that I was to be discharged. They needed my bed. I was then transferred to Riverside Rehabilitation Center on West End Avenue at 90th Street. Two half-hour sessions every day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon.

They worked wonders, so much so that I was brought to a point where I was now more mobile than before the October accident.

I was at Riverside for about a month before I came home. And now I can resume my activities with only mild discomfort.

Now you must be wondering how the NYPD was alerted. The answer resides in a PCV employee, the superintendent of my building, Mr. Johel Quezada.

Since I have been habituated and subscribing to the New York Times for decades and have it delivered to my door each morning, Johel observed that papers kept piling up. Being a quite friendly and decent person, he noted this unusual phenomenon and knocked on my door with no response.

So he called the police and then you know the rest of the story. If not for his sensitivity and compassion, I would now be dead.

I never gave him a Christmas present as in past years — I was indisposed at the time. But, now I am able to. The question is: What should I give to a gentleman who saved my life?

Any suggestions, dear readers?

10 thoughts on “Soapbox: A PCV employee saved my life

    • Nancy..
      Thanks So much! Since I don’t do cakes or pastries l can’t. However l do do a mean pasta sauce and l have watched and own copies of Julia child’s French cuisine books

      Both of you are welcome to call Town and Village and ask editor Sabina Mollet for my phone number and both of you and your family member which you wish to select are welcome to have dinner at my home…

      Be well

  1. Since this is a man probably not making a great deal of money I would ask him if there is something you could help him with. Perhaps he is putting a child through college or has difficulty with some other expense. I would make it personal. If he does not want to say, I would just give him a VERY generous monetary gift according to your means, along with a gift box of food. My Father saved a man from being murdered by a gunman, and received a case of champagne every Christmas for the rest of his life, as he had no need of a monetary gift.

  2. Re: Soapbox… A PCV employee saved my life…

    Further information…
    I saw my internist a week ago this past Tuesday and he diagnosed me as having kidney dysfunction as a result of being deprived of water and food for four continuous days.

    He added that as a result of being deprived of these essentials as well as three years of physical and psychological as a result of a sadistic and psychopathic roommate who paid only two months agreed upon payments l am now in a position of being without money.

    Just a week ago l woke up and calling Chase l was informed that a check in the amount of $1,300 was debited from my account. My former roommate had stolen a blank check and made into a forged and bogus one.

    This three year having to live with this dangerous man was capped off with what l had written in last week’s Soapbox comment which has been reproduced above on this blog.

    I should add that Stuyvesant Town has been very understanding concerning this double traumatic event each one exacerbating the other.

    My physcian not only dignosed me with manifesting kidney problems but post tramatic stress disorder.

    Who said that life was either easy or fair?

    • PCV employee saved my life

      I should have mentioned that l am working with a detective at the local precient to have this evil man arrested and charged with a felony.

  3.  Mr. Chowes, that was a truly horrific experience you went through and the gentleman who alerted the EMS, thereby saving your life, is clearly a wonderful, caring human being. Don’t worry if you cannot reward him monetarily because I’m sure he doesn’t expect that and knows that you are a senior citizen on a very tight budged. I would recommend inviting him (and his wife/partner if he has one) to a nice meal when you feel up to cooking or going out.

    You were very fortunate that Mr. Quezada got to you in time. A former co-worker of mine was not so fortunate. She fell in her apartment during along holiday weekend, and although many of us were calling her, we just assumed she had gone away for the weekend. Her doorman eventually noticed that she hadn’t emptied her mailbox for a while and went up to check on her. Sadly, she passed away at the hospital. The whole ordeal had been just too much for her.

    I sincerely hope that you are now wearing (all the time!) one of those medical alert gizmos because those things save lives, they really do. We were always trying to get my former co-worker to wear one of those things because she had a balance problem and frequently fell. She didn’t think she needed one.

    • Ms. Francis Clarke,

      It’s what I alluded to in a previous post; it is though the kindness of strangers (or others) that we are able to survive.

      A three-year old problem is now of the highest priority: that concerns the me the most…

      My sadistic.psychopathic former roommate not only didn’t pay the rent which was mutually agreeded upon, be also stole all of my monies l had saved and many valuabablez.

      Last week l called. Chase.and discovered that he knowing that the Marshall was soon going to evict him be removed a check of mine and wrote a.bogus one for $1 300!

      I dealing with a detective ti e from the 13th precient in an effort to have him arrested for a egregious felony.

      This all takes time and energy. And being in arrears to PCV makes me a potential .ca person to be evicted! Though to date managent has been sensitive my quite compelling situation. (l have been a tenent in PCV for 42 years!)

      I need help to extricate myself from a situation which was.not of my doing.

      I thank you so much to all of you who have extended and empathized with me.

      My last word: …. Help!

  4. Very happy you survived your ordeal. It’s a reminder for us all to take note of day-to-day routines of the people and businesses around us and contact authorities for anything unusual.

    It’s kind of you to offer a token of appreciation. But he is probably prous and thankful he could play such an important role in your life.

  5. Thanks So much!

    I have found that traumatic experiences like the one l went though have the potential to either break you or make one stronger in order to survive future difficulties

    It’s all an aspect of the human condition

    I do indeed to give to Nobel both a symbol if gift as well as the usual monetary one which l couldn’t give to him at Christmas due to my being indisposed.

    Thanks again!


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