Viral photo shows officer helping elderly man see ailing wife

Pennsylvania man takes care of wife by himself
Posted at 10:33 AM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 11:33:36-04

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. (WNEP) -- A picture posted by Montoursville Borough Police on social media quickly garnered hundreds of shares.

The picture was snapped Thursday at the moment a police officer held the hand of an elderly man as he walked into UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport to see his sick wife.



According to neighbors, the man in the picture, Roger Baker, has been caring for his ailing wife by himself at their home in Montoursville

Roger's wife had a medical emergency on Thursday and was taken to the hospital alone. Roger had no way to get there and that's when Montoursville police offered to give him a helping hand.

"The last I saw it had reached over 10,000 people and that was before 11 o'clock, so I'm sure it's a lot more than that now. I didn't expect it to go that big," said deputy chief Jason Bentley.

The picture tells the story of what happened.

Deputy Chief Bentley was working his regular shift when he got the call that Roger Baker,84, needed a lift to the hospital, His wife of more than 60 years had suffered a medical emergency and was taken by ambulance to UPMC Susquehanna in Williamsport.

Roger had no friends or family to take him there.

"When he got out of my patrol car at the hospital, he held on to the side of the car for about a minute. I didn't realize it was that bad, so I grabbed his hands and started to walk him in," said Bentley.

That's when a police department intern snapped the picture. The post has been shared hundreds of times and seen by thousands.

"You can only imagine what's going through someone's mind at that age when they've been together that long, but he didn't seem to be overly upset, like he kind of expected it and was ready and just going to see his wife. He didn't know how she was doing," Bentley said.

Newswatch 16 was able to get a hold of Mr. Baker who was still at the hospital with his wife. He tells us over the phone he's not sure when or if his wife's condition will improve.

Jim Parisons lives next door. We showed him the social media post

"I tell you what, it makes you think those people are here to help you. That's a real nice picture," he said.

It's part of the reason police shared the picture

Police want their community to feel comfortable calling for help no matter the situation.

"With this gentleman here, he mentioned on his way to the hospital that there have been a couple of times where his wife has fallen down and instead of calling 911, he went out to the road and flagged someone down and paid them $10 to help pick her up. I said, 'just call 911; it's what we do.'"

Montoursville Borough Police also encourage people to check in on their neighbors. They say many people won't reach out for help even when they may need it.

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