A man in San Joaquin County, California, is being praised for helping save his friend’s life even though they were hundreds of miles apart.
“On Saturdays, I’ll hear check-ins from just about every part of the world,” he said.
Scott spends long periods of time using it each day and takes it on walks, vacations, and also to social events. During his 40 years of being an amateur radio operator, he has communicated with individuals all over the globe from South Africa to the Space Station.
It has also connected him with friends around the country and in June, he got a call and recognized the person’s voice at the opposite end.
“It was all kind of skewed and everything. I thought it was a prank call at first and so then after we finally established, he said ‘You are an amateur radio operator,’ and I said ‘Yeah’, then it all started coming together,” Scott recalled.
His radio buddy, Skip Kritcher, who was 500 miles away in Myrtle Point, Oregon, dialed Scott’s number by mistake. Scott realized Kritcher was on his floor needed assistance.
“I couldn’t see the numbers too good on the cell phone and I wound up pushing the button and calling Bill,” Kritcher told reporters.
Moments later, Scott’s wife Sharon, a retired nurse, realized Kritcher was experiencing a stroke.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, a stroke happens when the blood supply to one’s brain is interrupted or reduced, and it stops the brain tissue from receiving oxygen and nutrients.
Women are more likely to have subtle warning signs of stroke, like fatigue, nausea or memory problems. With all the things women have on their to-do lists every day, those symptoms can be easily missed or brushed off. pic.twitter.com/tCY6OBtgQ2
— American_Stroke (@American_Stroke) May 13, 2021
“The speech that he had was slurred and my husband couldn’t seem to keep him on task, he was skipping all over and confused,” Sharon noted.
“I was nervous because I didn’t want to lose my friend,” Scott added.
The line cut off and that was when the couple dialed 911. They had visited Kritcher’s home before and knew where to tell emergency workers to go. A relative of Kritcher later told the couple their actions saved him.
“Just a miracle that he called the wrong number and he got us and we were able to do something to help him,” Sharon said.
Kritcher was still experiencing impaired vision but recovering from the stroke, and he and Scott have continued to check on each other using their ham radios.