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Concerned Restaurant Owners Save Life Of Elderly Customer

Restaurant owners Tom and Kim Marsolek really care about their customers, and that concern probably saved the life of an elderly Wausaukee man recently. Kim Marsolek, a special education instructor at Wausaukee Elementary School, and her husband, Tom, who is in charge of their Ranger City Restaurant on Hwy. 141 in Wausaukee, were worried when one of their regulars failed to show up for two days.

Under the guise of bringing him a chicken dinner that was their special on Sunday, Dec. 30, the couple went to his home to check on him.

Fortunately the weather was not as bitter as it has been this week. They found him lying in an unheated breezeway, clad only in his underwear and a sweat shirt. When Wausaukee Rescue Squad arrived his body temperature was only 80 degrees. He had a twisted ankle and a broken elbow and was unable to get up. He was transported to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette and now is recovering at Newcare Convalescent Center in Crivitz.

Kim said the man has been coming to their restaurant religiously for morning coffee and meals ever since his wife died about 12 years ago. He generally told them if he was going to be out of town, which was seldom. The couple had no children and he has no immediate family in the area. He has told Kim he doesn’t even make coffee at home.

When he didn’t come for supper on Friday evening the Marsoleks weren’t too worried, but they did wonder when Saturday morning came and went and he did not show up for his morning coffee. Kim said they began asking questions, and no one had seen him. When Sunday noon came and he still was missing she and Tom decided to check up on him. She had prepared his favorite special - a baked chicken dinner with home made dressing - for the day, so they packed up a nice go order and went to his home. She admits to being more than a little bit afraid of what they might find.

There were no tracks in the dusting of snow that had fallen Friday night. Now they were really worried. Kim looked in the kitchen window and saw his car keys and wallet lying on the table. The worry increased. She looked through a window into the breezeway and saw their friend lying on the floor, wearing nothing but briefs and a sweat shirt. He appeared to be unconscious. Kim said despite his recent back surgery, Tom broke the door down and they got in. Their friend was frightened and cold, but alive. He told them later he had hurt his knee on Friday and had gone into the breezeway to unlock the door for a friend he expected to visit on Monday or Tuesday. His knee gave out and he fell, breaking his elbow. The door to the house slammed behind him. He was unable to get up, so he had lain there ever since.

Kim said she and Tom called the Rescue Squad and then followed it to Marinette. He was taken first to the Emergency Room, where he was treated for hypothermia and the broken elbow. His body temperature was 80 degrees. He was transferred to Intensive Care, where efforts to raise his body temperature continued.

The Marsoleks had intended to spend a quiet afternoon at home watching the Packer game. Instead, they watched the game in the ER waiting room. She said they were at the hospital from about 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and laughs that they warded off starvation by sharing the chicken dinner they had intended for their friend. When his temperature was up to 92 degrees they headed for home.

The friend was released from the hospital to the Convalescent Center a few days later. Kim said he received lots of cards and calls and was surprised and happy that so many people care about him.


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