A Cedarhurst Senior Living of Waterloo employee was at the right place at the right time last Monday afternoon to rescue a woman whose vehicle rolled over her leg in the facility’s parking lot.
Kaitlin Shackelford of Waterloo was walking in for the start of her shift as a resident assistant a little before 2 p.m. when she saw a woman start to get into her car.
Shackelford realized, however, the car was rolling away.
The automobile’s driver, an 88-year-old woman who was visiting someone at the facility, had not put the vehicle in park, and before she could fully enter it, the car ran over her leg.
Shackelford, who has worked at Cedarhurst since December, rushed to help, but could not get the car to start.
“You can’t keep wasting time to try to get this car to start, so I tried pushing it off of her, and, thankfully, I was able to,” she recalled. “I pushed it off on my own.”
At that point, a neighbor, two construction workers and another Cedarhurst employee who was on break hurried over to help as the woman got out from underneath her vehicle.
The group put the car in park and called an ambulance while two other Cedarhurst employees assisted in administering first aid.
“We all just made sure she was OK and tried keeping her calm until the ambulance got there,” Shackelford said. “It was definitely crazy. Everything was fighting against us, but it ended up as well as you could hope for.”
The driver did not break any bones and had a successful surgery, Shackelford said.
Waterloo Police Department Sgt. Trin Daws credited the actions of Shackelford and the other employees with that outcome.
“It was really great work by the Cedarhurst staff,” Daws said.
Tammy Looby, the executive director of Cedarhurst Senior Living of Waterloo, also praised Shackelford’s swift response.
“Kaitlin is one of our outstanding caregivers in our memory care,” Looby said. “She shows compassion to all of her residents that she cares for. Even during this (COVID-19) crisis, she volunteers to help and work extra shifts to make sure the residents are cared for.
“We are very fortunate to have her on our team.”