LEWISTON – Saving a life and being called a “hero” were never what Sarah Trites expected when she became a SEARCH program telephone reassurance volunteer. But as a result of Sarah’s quick actions last fall, Viviane M. Dyer is alive and well in her home.

The course of events began with their regular Tuesday evening telephone conversation. Suddenly Viviane’s voice sounded strange and she stopped talking. All Sarah could hear was breathing. She called Viviane’s name several times and then she couldn’t hear breathing sounds.

Sarah, who is a traumatic brain injury survivor, wears a Lifeline and used it to call for help. An ambulance arrived at Viviane’s home within minutes, by which time she had recovered from fainting. However, while they were checking her vital signs, she fainted again. She was taken to the hospital and kept overnight.

Now Viviane is wearing her own Lifeline and taking new steps to improve her health. “I don’t know what I would have done without Sarah,” Viviane stated. “She saved my life.”

Sarah replied “I was just doing my job, trying to help her. I think a lot of Viviane and she’s my friend, always cheerful and happy. I enjoy my calls to her as she always makes me laugh.”

Catholic Charities Maine SEARCH stands for Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope. Its mission is to enable frail, vulnerable elderly and those with disabilities to remain independent and in their own homes for as long as possible.

Financial donations from individuals, businesses and civic groups may be sent to SEARCH, 15 Westminster St., Lewiston, ME 04240.

SEARCH is looking for interested persons of all ages and religious denominations who would like to be a friendly telephone caller, visitor or part-time helper for an elderly person in Androscoggin County.

For more information about becoming a short-term or longer-term SEARCH volunteer or to refer someone as a client, call the program office at 784-0157.


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