Teacher is a hero to lost woman's family


It was a classic scenario: A young man stopped to help an elderly woman cross the street.

But what Mountain View High School teacher Antonio Murillo didn't know when he pulled his car over last Thursday was that Thelma Patton, 89, suffered from dementia and had wandered away from her assisted living facility, lost and confused.

Murillo had left for work a bit early that day when he saw Patton standing bewildered on Fremont Avenue.

"It seemed like she wanted to cross the street but she wouldn't," Murillo said, "and she looked like she was trembling. This is an older lady all by herself. I'm thinking, I'll at least ask her if she needs help to cross the street."

He parked his car, and asked if she needed help.

"And she said, 'Well, I think so.'" Murillo recalled. Once she was in the car, he realized she didn't even know where she lived. He pulled over and found an emergency bracelet on her wrist with two phone numbers. He tried the first -- no answer. The second reached the hospital.

"At that point I gave them her information and they contacted her daughter," Murillo said. "By then I had brought her to school. I figured the high school would be a much easier place for whomever to come and get her."

Mary Chavez, security liaison, waited with Patton while Murillo headed to class.

"I got there as soon as I could get dressed," said Patton's daughter, Mary Ann Welch, 67. "Sure enough, there's m

y mother, and there's Mary watching over her."

"I'm very, very, very grateful to Antonio," Welch said. "In my opinion, he's a hero and he saved my mom's life."

"He's a teacher," she added, "but he's showing you how to be in life -- and to me that is a real gift."

"It really didn't take much on my part," Murillo said. "I'd want somebody to do that for me or someone I love."


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Posted by Pay Forward
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Antonio did what we all SHOULD do.. see a problem and solve it. Congrats to him.

All of us should always have an I.D. item with us. As one ages, the family should see to it that at least a bracelet or necklace with the I.D. info on it is with us at all times.

Aging One

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Posted by The Dad
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm

This happens quite often, I've seen it myself and noted each time a "Hero" was helping. It's just common human decency, I think there's far more good people than bad out there, so not sure about the Hero definition, but that said, High five to you Antonio.
Good man.

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Posted by JPS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment and general insanity]

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Posted by Frances
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Wow, seems like there are some real whackadoos in Mountain View.

Good for Antonio Murillo for not being afraid to get involved. So many others would just turn away and pretend they saw nothing.

Like this comment
Posted by Don Frances
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:54 am

Don Frances is a registered user.

I apologize for the many absurd and offensive comments put here by an anonymous crazy person while decent people were only trying to read and comment on a nice story. I've taken them all down, and most of the responses as well.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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