PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Patrick Purcell left a doctor’s appointment and was on his way to work driving on Barnes Road when he felt the need to pull off on the side of the onramp to Hwy 26.
Purcell, who has epilepsy, stopped his car. He hadn’t had a seizure in about a year-and-a-half, and felt one coming on.
But an “angel” saw his car start rolling, and this mystery man sprang into action.
“He just said that he saw my husband’s car pull over, stop and then start just slowly rolling forward. He said he felt something was weird,” said Purcell’s wife, Maggie Marquard. “He got out, he looked, found him and at first thought he was asleep, then realized it was a medical emergency. He put the car in park, made sure my husband wasn’t choking.”
The 26-year-old Purcell is prone to grand mal seizures, Marquard said, “but he got on a new medication and it’s been totally fine. He was cleared by a doctor to drive.”
The mystery man, who was also getting onto Hwy 26 — used Purcell’s phone to call Marquard — she thinks he used Purcell’s fingerprint to unlock the phone, then scrolled through contacts and found her number.
But he did that after he called for medical help.
Marquard said she had spoken with her husband about 10 minutes before and “he was fine, he was happy, he was having a good day.”
Then mystery man called.
“The voice on the other end wasn’t (her husband’s) and said, ‘Hey, this is going to sound a little strange. I don’t want you to freak out but I found your husband and he’s unresponsive in his car.”
The man was very calm and told her medics were on their way, asked for his name and medical conditions and said he “basically got him taken care of.”
Then the man gathered Purcell’s belongings and parked his car for him at the hospital, then gave Purcell’s car keys to the hospital staff.
‘He’s an angel’
Maggie Marquard has no idea who the mystery man is that helped save her husband’s life. “If it wasn’t for this guy knowing what to do, I don’t know what would have happened to him.”
She’s also aware that many people would not have stopped to help or even notice something was wrong.
“He’s an angel. Like, he was in the right place at the right time. … Just having someone be willing to take the time out of their day and say, ‘Hey I’m going to help’ was, you know, amazing.”
The Forest Grove couple has 2 young children, “so if something had happened at this point in our lives I would have been devastated. The children would have been devastated.”
Patrick Purcell is home and resting though he’s sore. His wife said he won’t be driving.
At the hospital, she asked who the mystery man was — but he didn’t tell anyone his name. The “angel” had just written down where he parked Purcell’s car, and that was that.
“I want to thank him, I want to say ‘Thank you for everything that you did, taking the time out of your day to do the right thing, and not only do the right thing but stay there with him and not just leave as soon as the EMTs got there.”
Maggie Marquard hopes to be able to say thank you to the “angel” in person. “And as soon as he’s feeling better, I’m sure my husband absolutely wants to thank him.”