Men’s Putters Start a New ‘Buddy System’

Dave Rutkowski, Peter Rice, and Betty

Scott Baker

A near-fatal home accident involving one of SaddleBrooke Men’s Putters’ longtime members has sparked awareness of a need in our community.

Peter Rice, an 83-year-old gentleman who has cerebral palsy since birth, fell in his home in June. Peter has also had some minor strokes and lost his longtime companion and wife in April. He was trying to recover from the loss of his loving caregiver and adapt to his new life when he got up one night and fell next to his bed and wall, breaking his leg. Peter owns an emergency alert button, which he wears around his neck, and although he pressed the button almost continuously, help never came. He lay there, yelling for help, hearing people walk up and down the street, but no one heard him. It was five days before a fellow churchgoer investigated his absence and, looking through a window, saw Peter lying on the floor. EMT was called, and Peter was rushed to the hospital. He suffered from acute dehydration, and it was three days before he could be treated for his broken leg.

Peter is home now with 24-hour care and is slowly healing. This incident inspired Dave Rutkowski, president of the Men’s Putters, to come up with a “Buddy System.” Dave is now encouraging all the Putters to pick a fellow member or friend as a Buddy. Each Buddy will then contact the other Buddy by phone call, text message, or some other means on a daily basis to check on his welfare. This way, even if one has an emergency response system at their home, someone will check in with them daily. The Men’s Putters encourage all SaddleBrookers to start their own Buddy System to help prevent lack-of-help incidents like this from ever occurring again.