I heard a thud,” said one of the onlookers. On Friday, July 12, Christine, 92 years of age, fell hard on the sidewalk in front of Urban Fitness at 25th & J Streets. She didn’t fall due to any failing of her own, but because of the poor condition of the sidewalk that caught the wheel of her walker. Those in nearby businesses said they’d reported the condition of the walk to the City previously. Nothing has been done.
I’d just come across the street to where my car was parked and saw this sweet little woman sitting on the sidewalk, blood splattered down the back of her pretty pink plaid blouse. That thud was her head hitting the sidewalk—hard. “I was just trying to get a little exercise,” said Christine.
Here in midtown Sacramento, the city “parking Nazis” rake in a literal fortune for parking tickets—waiting ruthlessly for meters to expire or to find someone parked in a yellow zone or a special “by permit only” zone so they can nab them, slapping a $52 (minimum) ticket on their windshield. I’ve had my share. So, what are they using all that money for? Certainly not to repair sidewalks in a busy area where pedestrians like adorable 92 year old Christine like to get out and get a little exercise when most of her juniors are sitting on their couches or driving around in their air conditioned, gas-guzzling vehicles.
I knelt beside her and offered water (graciously offered to thirsty customers at the Birkenstock store across the street) which she gladly accepted, while we awaited the paramedics. They arrived quickly. “How are you doing, dear?” one asked her. “I’ve been better,” stated Christine, pretty shaken up but very sharp and spry for 92.
Christine carried with her—in her little walker basket—a book and her key chain with a photo of a little grandchild smiling out from behind the round plastic disk. A neighbor, who came up the walk in a motorized scooter, stopped to chat. “She’s 92 you know. She’s always reading.”
They placed towels at the back of her head to stop the bleeding, wrapped white bandages around, then lifted her onto a stretcher and off she went looking like a war victim. She tried shielding her eyes from the hot Sacramento sun, holding up her blood-covered hands, Immediately, one of the officers says, “cover her eyes!” I wanted to hold an umbrella over her, lay a cold cloth across her forehead. I told her that I would come to check on her in a few days and she smiled. Several of those who’d gathered collected information, agreeing that they would check on her. Some took photos of the high rise in the sidewalk that caused her fall.
The City of Sacramento is at fault here. I will see to it that something is done. Fixing the sidewalks (which I, too, have taken a fall on—no walker either—is a start. Let’s get Christine a better walker, one with big fat wheels that can roll over these cracks. Let’s make sure the city PAYS for this!