When one of his regular clients didn't show up for a hair appointment on the morning of March 16, Jose Moran, a stylist at Preferred Hair Salon in Schaumburg, began to worry.
He tried to reach 82-year-old Joan Ludovice, who lives alone in Hoffman Estates, by phone to see if anything was amiss. When no one answered, Moran went to her home, where again there was no answer.
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Upon noticing two days' worth of newspapers on Ludovice's driveway, Moran called some area hospitals to try to locate her. Still having no luck, he called 911 and requested a well-being check.
Police and firefighters arrived and found Ludovice alive but helpless on the floor due to a succession of mini strokes and a mild heart attack. She has since had surgery and is recovering in rehab.
"If Jose decided to just go about his business that day, who knows what would have happened," said Chris Moore of the Hoffman Estates Police Department. "When you get that gut instinct give us a call."
Moran was honored Monday at a Hoffman Estates village board meeting for his role in Ludovice's rescue and recovery. The board presented Moran with a Great Citizen award and declared Wednesday, April 18, as Jose Moran Day in the village.
Moran also will be honored by the Hoffman Estates Police Department on April 11.
Emily Kerous, Hoffman Estates' director of operations and outreach for the Office of the Mayor and the Board, said the village hoped by recognizing Moran it would encourage others to watch out for their neighbors and notify police when they are concerned.
"Anecdotally, I've heard a lot of stories about neighbors who thought something was wrong, but were too embarrassed to call (911) and then it turns out they could've avoided a tragedy," Kerous wrote in an email.
Moore, who nominated Moran for the award, said it is especially important for residents to keep an eye on senior neighbors and request well-being checks when they haven't seen them in a while, even if it may result in a false alarm.
"People need to know that we have that service and they don't need to be worried or scared," she said.