Praise for school worker’s good deed

My 10-year-old daughter, Abigail, is a student at Silver Creek Central School. She has a life-threatening heart condition known as Long QT Syndrome. In addition to daily medication, it is imperative that she carry her portable Automated External Defibrillator with her at all times, in case she was to have an episode.

Earlier this month, it came to our attention that we did not have her AED. The day before we attended a soccer game at the Dunkirk High School, so we frantically rushed back to the field, scouring the bleachers, the track, and everywhere in-between.

It was nowhere to be found. We eventually ended up in the school, where we spoke with the principal. He checked the “lost and found,” but to our dismay, it was not there. He then radioed a grounds worker, Salvatore Flores, who volunteered to go out to the field where we had just been.

Distressed and disappointed, my daughter and I went to place an ad in the Dunkirk OBSERVER on the outside chance someone may have picked it up.

One can only imagine my daughter’s grief over not being able to attend school, as she has to have the AED with her at all times. Although another one could be ordered, the expense is great, and it takes time to receive it. I cannot explain our frustration over forgetting it, or our fear that she would need it, and we would not have it.

Later that morning, I received a call from the school principal. It seems that Mr. Flores, the groundskeeper, went back to the field and proceeded to look in all of the trash bins. He found the AED at the bottom of one of these bins. Although we were quite surprised that someone had thrown it away, we rejoiced that the device had been found. Mr. Flores did not have to go back out to the field, he did not have to dig through day old garbage, but he did. His compassion for my daughter and our situation was touching.

In a time where the bad news seems to outweigh the good, and negativity and criticism seems the norm, the kindness that Mr. Flores demonstrated was heart-warming. What better example than he to show my daughter the importance of doing good deeds, of caring about others, and “going the extra mile.”

I will forever be grateful to Mr. Flores, as will my daughter, Abigail.

Tammy Rice is a Silver Creek resident.