• Last modified 487 days ago (Jan. 26, 2023)


Goulash, with a side of rescue

Meal delivery brings help to woman on garage overnight

Staff writer

Cindy Unruh showed up at Sharon Gilmore’s home Monday morning to deliver goulash, mixed vegetables, pickled beets, and garlic bread from the Peabody Senior Center.

She quickly found things amiss.

One of Gilmore’s two dogs was outside. That was Unruh’s first clue something was wrong.

Unruh knocked on the door, but no one answered. That, too, was odd.

She was getting ready to leave when she heard Gilmore shouting through a doggie door in a detached shop and garage area.

Unruh walked inside the shop.

Gilmore was on the floor.

“What are you doing?” Unruh asked her.

“I fell,” Gilmore said.

Unruh asked, “Are you OK?”

Gilmore said: “No, I’m not. I think I broke my hip.”

Gilmore had tripped over a rubber-backed rug inside the shop’s door when she went to shut off the lights between 10 and 11 p.m. Sunday.

Unruh found her about 10:45 a.m. Monday.

Fortunately, the shop is heated to 50 degrees — just warm enough to keep Gilmore’s plants alive.

Gilmore also is grateful she was wearing a jacket.

She’s mostly grateful for Unruh.

“I’d be freezing my arse off if I was still in the garage,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore was feeling puny Tuesday, where she was awaiting surgery at NMC Health, formerly Newton Medical Center.

“I had to wait until I was 81 to break my hip, so that’s pretty good,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore herself delivered meals for 4½ years. She stopped volunteering in August.

Jamie Hampton, nutrition site manager at Peabody Senior Center, said she didn’t know of similar cases from her year at the center.

“She’s a lucky lady that she had a heated garage and that Cindy was there,” Hampton said.

Another volunteer with Unruh delivered the one meal remaining on their route. Unruh got back to the center about 12:30 p.m.

Unruh gathered Gilmore’s medical cards, her phone, and a charger so she’d have them for the hospital.

“We got her all straightened up,” she said.

Last modified Jan. 26, 2023