Victoria police officer buys plane ticket for senior to reunite her with family
'She needed help. It could be my mom stranded somewhere,' says Const. Andre Almeida
A Victoria police officer who bought a plane ticket for a disoriented senior so that she could be reunited with her family was quick to deflect praise for his kindness.
The 65-year-old woman was reported missing by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines vessel Jewel of the Sea on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT. She had left the ship when it docked in Victoria at 10 a.m. and did not return, and the ship left without her.
The Victoria police were called in and learned from her husband that she had been displaying dementia-like symptoms. Police searched for her and were eventually tipped off by the staff of the Fairmont Empress hotel in downtown Victoria that she was there and was disoriented.
Victoria K-9 officer Const. Andre Almeida took her to the local hospital to be assessed. That's when he decided to arrange a flight for the elderly woman from Victoria to Seattle, so that she could catch her existing flight back to New York.
After a night in the hospital, the woman was taken to the airport by patrol officers.
'It could be my mom stranded somewhere'
But when the officers got to the airport, her credit card did not work, so Almedia stepped in.
"I called Air Alaska and just booked the flight on my credit card," he told CBC News.
Almeida said he just wanted to do the right thing and says it was a team effort to get her home.
"My part was really small," he said. "I just gave a credit card."
The woman is now safely back with her family in Buffalo, N.Y., and Alaska Airlines reimbursed Almeida for the flight.
Almeida hasn't spoken to the woman or her family since she landed on Friday, but he said the husband was grateful when they found her on Thursday.
"There was no other way to ensure she would make it back home," he said.
"She needed help. It could be my mom stranded somewhere, and I would hope that someone would help."