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Speakers Corner: Midnight visit by stranger leads to lifesaving connection

Last Updated Oct 16, 2021 at 5:51 pm EDT

Speakers Corner is back! CityNews wants to hear from you. We’ve been asking you to send us interesting stories, videos or questions you want answered. The Queen Street booth maybe a thing of the past, but we’re still listening and want to hear what’s on your mind.

This week, a woman from Ontario reached out with a heartwarming story.

On one of the coldest nights this year, Ernestina Miggliozzi was curled up in bed in her Jackson’s Point, Ontario home catching up on work emails.

Then she got a surprising alert.

“All of sudden my RING doorbell app alerted me that someone was standing at my door.” Migliozzi said. “It was just about midnight so I was a bit shaken.”

She pulled up the video on her phone and it showed an elderly woman, who was not dressed for the weather, shivering outside Migliozzi’s front door.

“She was grasping on to whatever belongings she had and she was shivering—shaking out of control from the cold,” Migliozzi said. “It was -15 plus a windchill and she was not dressed for it.”

While hesitant at first, Migliozzi jumped out of bed to investigate further.

“I normally would not answer the door at this hour but something about this woman, and how uncomfortable she looked, prompted me to open the door.”

Miglozzi said the woman looked and sounded confused.

“I brought her in and sat her down, gave her tea to warm her up. She told me her first name but she didn’t know her last name nor remembered where she lived.”

Migliozzi began calling long-term care homes in her area.

“I know there are a couple around here, the first one I called was luckily the one she belonged to.”

Halsley Lodge Adult Care facility wasn’t far from Migliozzi’s home but the woman believed she had been wandering around for about half an hour.

“When I called them and spoke with the evening caregiver he was in a panic. He said do you have her, I said ‘yeah, she’s here, come get her.’ ” Migliozzi said. “He was overwhelmed and grateful when he showed up to pick her up.”

As for how she was able to leave the home, the facility — due to privacy concerns — did not comment. Miglozzi isn’t speaking out to place blame.

“These things happen. Nothing is perfect in life, from what I understand the facility is a very good one and the people do take good care of their patients,” Migliozzi said.

Migliozzi is just happy that she went out of her comfort zone and answered the door.

“The fact that she told me she had been out there for at least a half hour and the temperature, the way she was dressed, the way she was shivering, I don’t know how long someone could have stayed outside in that weather — or if she wandered off or got lost … it could have been a fatal thing for her.”

The elderly woman also appeared grateful.

“When the caregiver came to pick her up, on the way out the door,  she kept looking back and blowing kisses at me and telling me how much she loved me and it was so touching, it really was.”

The story does not end here, Migliozzi plans on visiting her new friend at the home when it’s safe to do so.

“She was such a sweet person who just got a little lost, I am so happy I answered that door.”

If you have a story, issue or question you’d like us to look into, hit us up, citynews.ca/speakerscorner.