A Pennsylvania family helping a friend in turn found help when they found themselves in need recently.
On April 3, while traveling on Interstate 77 from Orangeburg to his home in Tioga, Pa., a father of two sons – ages 9 and 16 – became ill, said Rock Hill Radiology Associates staff members.
“They were heading back Monday morning and only made it to Rock Hill,” said Megan McDowell, a Rock Hill Radiology claims analyst.
McDowell said she saw the boys wheeling their father to the Piedmont Medical Center emergency room on April 3. When she went to work the next morning at about 7:20 a.m., McDowell said she felt someone watching her. In a white pickup truck parked nearby, she saw a dog in the back seat.
“I knew that truck had been there since Monday at 12 o’clock,” she said. “I’m a dog lover. I knew he’d been there all night.”
She told her co-workers, and they alerted security.
“It was supposed to be 81 that day,” McDowell said, referring to the temperature, “so I knew he couldn’t sit there all day.”
The radiology staff learned the father had been admitted to the hospital for observation, and the family didn’t know anyone in the Rock Hill area.
“Everyone rallied,” said Marsha Neely, office administrator for Rock Hill Radiology since 1998 and with the hospital since 1985.
They learned the family had traveled to South Carolina to pick up Eddie, a 10-year-old chocolate Labrador mix, to help a friend who was having to move and couldn’t keep him.
“He was a calm, great dog; you could tell he had a family and been around people,” McDowell said.
Seeing the dog had skin irritation issues, the staff decided to pitch in for veterinarian care. Dr. Bruce Leonard of Rock Hill Radiology footed the bill for updated vaccinations, nail trimmings and medicated baths – costing $235, Neely said.
“I thought it was very generous for Dr. Leonard to take over for us,” Neely said.
Dr. James Love of Palmetto Veterinary Medicine & Surgery also “knocked a bit off the bill,” Neely said.
The staff pitched in to purchase dog food. Neely took Eddie home overnight – and bought him a Clemson collar.
“The boys were excited,” she said about learning Clemson is the 2017 NCAA football championship team. “The boys were very loving on him, and would come over and check on him.”
Eddie stayed with the staff until the father was released about 1 p.m. April 5.
“I’m just glad we were able to find him and get him the help he needed,” McDowell said.
The hospital staff also helped the family, since the boys didn’t have anywhere to go.
“They took care of them, too, giving them a place to sleep,” Neely said.
Memphis-James Davis, the father who was hospitalized, thanked the Rock Hill Radiology staff on a public Facebook post.
“While I was there these folks at Rock Hill Radiology Associates took care of Eddie for me, and ... I am honored that they helped me in the time of need!” Davis wrote in the Facebook post.
Neely said having Eddie at the office was fun.
“He entertained us,” she said. “We fell in love with him.”
Catherine Muccigrosso: 803-329-4069