Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
When the COVID19 pandemic first swept the country in 2020, many organizations and agencies had to adjust operations quickly to meet the needs of citizens. In Macon County, one way that was quickly established was through the overnight — on a holiday weekend— establishment of the COVID-19 call center.
The call center, which was a partnership of local governments and private businesses, provided around the clock availability for citizens asking questions and needing services from the health department. Staffed by county employees and volunteers, the Macon County Board of Commissioners held a special recognition ceremony Tuesday night to thank the residents who made the call center possible.
After presenting county employees and community volunteers with a special gift of appreciation, Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland recognized one volunteer who went above and beyond while volunteering by presenting her with the Macon County Hero Award.
On April 28, 2021, at approximately 10:45 a.m., call center volunteer Frances Ledford contacted an 82-year-old Macon County resident (Ms. Doe) who had missed their appointment for their second COVID-19 vaccination earlier that morning. The purpose of the call was to see if Ms. Doe was in route to the appointment or if she needed to reschedule.
Ms. D informed Ledford that she was not feeling well and was in bed. Ledford indicated that she was sorry to hear this and asked if Ms. D had someone to help her. Ms. D shared that she lives alone and had not contacted anyone.
Ledford quickly noticed that Ms. D did not seem to be speaking clearly and was complaining of numbness on her side. Ledford offered several times to call 911 for assistance and Ms. D refused. Upon ending the call, Ledford informed Zenobia Keezer, the Call Center Manager who then reached out to Macon County EMS Communications Supervisor, Todd Seagle asking if a wellness safety check could be conducted at Ms. D’s residence. Seagle recognized the name and contacted a family member who authorized sending an ambulance to the residence.
Ms. D was taken to Angel Medical Center and at approximately 10 p.m. that evening, a family member posted on Facebook, “Thanks to whoever at Macon County Public Health had the wherewithal to realize that my mom was having a medical emergency while talking to her on the phone. You saved her life!”
For a complete list of volunteers, visit themaconcountynews.com.