Hudson’s Holiday Hero: Nick Tompkins
December 31, 2015
by Doug Robinson
It was supposed to be a simple Wednesday of shopping for mother and son. However, before the day was done, Nick Tompkins was in the right place at the right time to save the life of 93-year-old “Robert.”
“I was sitting in the car with mom,” began Nick Tompkins, “and I saw a man who appeared to be lost. He kept looking around while holding onto a shopping cart.”
Having received his mother’s permission, this eighth grade Presentation of Mary Academy student, approached “Robert” and asked him if he could help. “I cannot find my car,” the man told Nick. “It’s a blue Honda” and then he recited his license plate.
Not being able to find the blue Honda, Nick then took the remote and started clicking the remote key in an effort to trigger the car’s alarm/locking system. However, the battery in the clicker was dead.
With the help of Jay, another Good Samaritan, Pheasant Mall security was called in an attempt to find Robert’s wife.
“I tried to calm him down, and I also got him to the sidewalk where he would be safe from moving cars. He was very wobbly, so I sat him on a bench while we waited for his wife to be found. I could tell that he was very disorientated,” continued Nick.
While sitting on the bench, Nick learned that Robert’s 85-plus year old wife, on oxygen, had been sitting in the blue Honda and that she was not in the mall. Having thanked Nick, Robert was placed in the blue Honda and off they went.
But the story of our Hudson Hero does not end there. During their brief encounter, Nick learned that this 93-year-old man was not only a science fiction author but he also had five children. And, that once his wife got her husband home, he subsequently was taken to the hospital where he survived the heart attack that he was having. But Nick did not learn this part until the following Monday morning.
That following Monday, Nick was back at Presentation of Mary, hanging out with his pals and many of the students in the school cafeteria when Principal Sister Maria Rosa entered the cafeteria and related this story to the students. She told them that she had just received a phone call from retired Principal Jay Cullens.
Cullens said that he had witnessed a young man, in a Presentation of Mary Academy uniform, help an elderly man in the parking lot of the mall the previous Wednesday, and that he had helped that elderly man because the man was confused and could not find his car or his wife. Cullens told Sister Maria he thought she should know.
She also went on to say that Cullens had called the local hospital to find out if the man was brought in and if he was ok. He learned that Robert had been treated for a heart attack, but he was ok now.
“Would the student who helped this man please raise his hand?” asked Sister Maria.
“It took a while,” stated Sister Rosa, “but then a hand came up, not all the way, just up a little. I asked Nick to stand. And then, the entire cafeteria jumped up and applauded and cheered for Nick. It was wonderful, spontaneous, and a great tribute to a wonderful student.”
Nick has now earned a nickname of “Lifesaver” with his classmates. But to this humble, quiet, and unassuming young man, who understands and has had to live through his own tragedy with the loss of his younger brother, simply says, “I am just glad we got him to his car safely and he was able to get help.”