Two dogs were making a ruckus when a neighbor heard the distraught canines and decided to investigate. She entered the house, where the dogs lived alone with their female owner. After making her way to the bedroom, she took one look at the bed and immediately called 911.
Maureen Hatcher lives alone with her two Labradors in St. Augustine, Florida. So, her dogs, Sadie and Bella, were the only family members with her when terror struck. “I couldn’t move,” Maureen recalled, describing the frightening moment she nearly died, according to Inside Edition. Then, she saw her only hope for getting help.
“I remember Sadie coming in,” Maureen told WTLV. With no one else to turn to, she uttered what she feared might be her last words to her loyal companions. “I said, ‘Mommy needs help, I’m in trouble here, I can’t move,'” Maureen recalled telling her dogs. “And, they were gone,” she added. Instead of staying by their owner’s side, Sadie and Bella bolted from the house in a panic.
The dogs were captured on Maureen’s doorbell security camera as they burst through the door and scrambled from the home. Shortly after, a neighbor saw the dogs making a ruckus in the street. Alexandra Naspolini, who lives across the street from Maureen, immediately knew something was wrong when she saw the dogs barking frantically.
Concerned, Alexandra rushed over to Maureen’s house to investigate. As she entered the home, she called out for Maureen, but she didn’t get an answer. Alexandra continued to make her way through the house until she came to a bedroom and found the 62-year-old woman sprawled across the bed.
Maureen appeared passed out and nearly unresponsive, according to WMC 5. Finding her neighbor unable to talk to her, Alexandra quickly called 911. “She needs an ambulance. I saw her dog outside. I talked to her and she cannot talk to me,” Alexandra told dispatchers.
Moments later, paramedics arrived, People reported. And, the doorbell surveillance camera captured every moment of the life-saving ordeal from the time Sadie and Bella first ran out the door barking, to the neighbor rushing over and paramedics carrying Maureen Hatcher out of her home on a stretcher.
Rather than transporting Maureen to the nearest ER, first responders rushed her to the comprehensive stroke center at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville instead. That decision, along with her dogs’ heroic efforts and her neighbor’s concern, not only saved Maureen’s life, it likely prevented permanent brain damage, according to Dr. Nima Aghaebrahim.
When a stroke happens, time is everything. Thankfully, it’s as if Sadie and Bella somehow knew this. Because of the fast response of all involved, Maureen was rushed into surgery where doctors removed a clot, cutting off the flow of blood to her brain, using a new, innovative procedure that was unheard of up until a few years ago.
Using dye to find the clot, surgeons then maneuvered a stent retriever from the femoral artery in Maureen’s leg to her neck. “It’s one of the highlights of our career that we’re able to help people such as Mrs. Hatcher,” Dr. Aghaebrahim said. While the new procedure definitely allowed doctors to treat Maureen in a way that wasn’t possible before, she knows they wouldn’t have even had the chance if it weren’t for her beloved Sadie and Bella.
“Had it not been for my dogs going and getting my neighbor, I wouldn’t be here today,” Maureen said. “I had an angel across the street,” she added. “I had a great rescue in the neighborhood, and the hospital,” Maureen continued, thankful for all those who saved her that day. “By rights, I shouldn’t be in the shape that I’m in,” the grateful dog owner said as her heroes, Bella and Sadie, sat at her feet. “I am blessed. Very blessed.”
Indeed, all Maureen had to do was ask for their help, and her dogs were gone in a flash. Making the story all the more miraculous, though, Maureen Hatcher said she isn’t sure how her dogs got out since her door locks automatically. She believes the door must have been left slightly ajar the day she collapsed — an oversight that saved her life. But, perhaps it’s more than just a coincidence.
Not only did Maureen live, but she also has no residual effects. It seems everything fell into place to ensure this woman got the help she needed in order to make a complete recovery. Sadie and Bella seem to be more than just some modern-day Lassies. They were the angels Maureen was praying for when she needed a miracle most. They saved the day — and her life.