When Susan Causey of Riverview, Michigan, drove to pick up her 84-year-old husband Ron from the senior center where he’d been playing cards, she quickly knew something was off.
He didn’t seem to notice when she drove past. He had a difficult time standing up. She’d seen this before and immediately created a plan.
“I knew from experience that he was going into diabetic shock,” Susan told the News-Herald. “I didn’t have anything (sugary) on me, so I drove to the nearby McDonalds.”
But when she got to the fast-food restaurant, she encountered another issue: She couldn’t get out and leave her husband in the car, and there were three cars in front of her.
“He was just about ready to go into a coma,” she said. “I could see myself having to call 911. That’s how low his sugar was.”
When it was finally their turn to order, she quickly explained the situation and asked for a cup of orange juice as quickly as they could manage it.
When the employee who took her order told shift manager James Dalpiaz about the issue, Dalpiaz understood the urgency and decided to handle it himself.
“As soon as I heard that I said, ‘That’s Ok, I’ve got it,’” he recalled.
When Dalpiaz started adding extra sugar to the juice, the employee told him Susan had only asked for the juice, but Dalpiaz explained, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.”
He then personally ran the sugary concoction out to the Causeys. Susan was relieved, and she was also impressed with the manager’s intuition.
Ron drank the extra-sweet juice, which Dalpiaz assured them was complimentary, and was on the road to recovery.
“He was my hero that day,” Ron acknowledged. “He was an angel on my shoulder. He was on top of it.”
“James’ fast acting saved him a lot of grief,” Susan agreed.
“I’m just glad I was there and knew what to do,” Dalpiaz said.
When their hero had run out to them, Susan had recognized the name on Dalpiaz’s name tag. As it turned out, she used to be neighbors with his aunt — another connection.
Still grateful for the manager’s assistance, Susan again expressed her thankfulness — but this time, publicly and on social media, where her story resonated with many.
“It got an overwhelmingly positive response,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it.”