Consuelo Salcido was playing with her godson on the Mills Elementary School playground when she heard someone calling for help. Her response to that call may have saved Sandra Newell’s life.
Salcido, who lives in Roswell, was in Hobbs Feb. 17 visiting her sister. Part of that visit was a trip to the Mills playground, a place where she and the little boy rarely go.
“My sister was with me,” Salcido said. “We heard the voice calling for help and we looked at each other and I told her to watch the baby while I went to see what was going on.”
In order to see what was going on, Salcido had to climb over a concrete block fence.
“I still don’t know how I got over that fence,” Salcido said in an interview Friday. “But when I got on top of it, I could see someone lying on the floor just inside the patio door. So I asked her if she needed help and she told me to call 911.”
Sandra Newell was the person lying on the floor. She said she had been vacuuming her floor and when the phone rang and as she moved across the tile floor toward it, she got tangled up in the cords.
“I fell forward,” she said Thursday as she demonstrated what happened. “As I fell, I put both arms through the backs of these barstools and hit my head on the bar. I was able to pull my arms out of the chairs, but they were useless. Both shoulders were broken and the humerus (the bone in the upper arm) were broken. The patio door was locked and I couldn’t reach a phone so I scooted across the floor and unlocked and opened the door with my foot and began to call for help.”
Newell said she had no idea whether anyone would hear her calls, but she continued to call until she saw a young woman on her fence and heard her ask if it would be all right for her to come in.
Salcido was the young woman.
“I called 911 for her,” Salcido said. “They got there in just a few minutes and I knew my sister was out front in the car, so I just got into the car and left.” She left neither her name nor a contact number and Newell was too badly injured to think of asking for it.
“They took me to Lubbock in the ambulance,” Newell said. “The accident happened about 4 p.m. on Friday and they operated on my right arm that afternoon. They operated on the other arm Saturday morning.”
Newell said she spent five weeks in a rehabilitation center in Lubbock and two months in a physical therapy center in Midland before she was able to return to her home in Hobbs. “All that time and after I got home, I was looking for the angel that I believe saved my life,” Newell said. “I looked for eight months and then my friend, JoAnne Zespy, called the Hobbs Fire Department. They wouldn’t give her the number but they said they would call her and give her my number so she could call me if she wanted to.”
Salcido said she thought about the woman over the months and called her as soon as she had Newell’s phone number.
Newell said they made arrangements to meet at Cattle Baron last Friday.
“It was real emotional for both of us,” Newell said. “I really believe she was an angel God sent to be at the right place to help me. She saved my life.” Friday morning, Salcido said it never occurred to her that she might be putting herself in jeopardy by jumping a fence and into a backyard when she had no idea what situation she might find.
“I could hear her hollering and I knew someone needed help. I jumped a back fence and saw Sandra lying on the floor by her back door. I ran inside with her and called the paramedics and waited for them to get there. She contacted me recently and told me I’m her guardian angel and she wants me to be in her life forever. I believe God just had me at the right place at the right time.”