MASON CITY — Unable to find help after her car wouldn’t start at Hy-Vee East on Friday, Beverly Patterson was touched when a stranger came to her rescue.
A retired human resources officer, Patterson, 77, moved to Mason City from Moline, Illinois, about a year ago after suffering a stroke on the right side of her brain.
Patterson mostly recovered, but now walks with the aid of a cane.
After grocery shopping around 3:30 p.m., Patterson returned to her car to find it wouldn’t start in the heat.
With a son in Chicago and her daughter out of town in Waterloo that day, and during a day when temperatures neared 90 degrees, she feared she was out of available options.
“I like to give credit where credit is due,” she said from her home on Monday. “It was just God-sent, that was what she was.”
Marlo Shaw, 46, watched Patterson try to flag down help without success.
“I don’t know how anybody could let her sit there and be ignored,” Shaw said. “She looked overheated. I was thinking maybe I could do something.”
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When she couldn’t successfully jump-start Patterson’s car, Shaw decided to give Patterson a lift home and helped her put away her groceries. She then helped her dial a tow truck and gave Patterson a ride back to the grocery store to get her car.
The tow truck attendant said she had most likely left a light on in her car, Patterson said.
“This lady is 77 years of age,” Shaw said. “It just bothered me that people were ignoring her. And I have never ignored people who have needed help.”
First noticing tattoos on Shaw’s arms, Patterson said she wasn’t sure what to expect.
“She didn’t look like the type of person who would have stopped and helped,” she said. “But, you can’t always tell a book by its cover.”
Patterson said she would welcome Shaw at her home any time.
“It’s just awesome to know that there are good people out there,” Patterson said.