LOMITA (CBSLA.com) — Officials are calling a deputy sheriff from the Lomita station a hero for helping save the lives of an elderly couple.

On Friday, at about 1 p.m., Deputy Chris Knox responded to the 6800 block of Vallon Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. He was doing a welfare check on two elderly residents who live at the location. A woman who delivered food to the couple from Meals on Wheels was unable to reach the couple for two days and alerted authorities.

Knox told KCAL9’s Art Barron not to call him a hero. Knox says, “I was just responding to a call.”

While checking the house from the exterior, the deputy heard very faint moaning. “I could hear talking,” he says, “but couldn’t get anyone to come to the door.”

With the assistance of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Knox forced entry into the home through the garage door.

Once inside, he discovered an elderly couple on the floor. Both had apparently fallen in their den and were unable to move, or help each other. “It appeared to me they were confused and disoriented,” said Knox.

Paramedics gave them  immediate medical attention and later transported both to Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Authorities determined the couple — 93-year-old Wayne Dennis and his 87-year-old wife Peggy Dennis — had been in distress for several days. Neighbor Michael Gagna said the couple was recuperating, together, in the same hospital room.

Deputy Knox is sure the couple would have died if not for the concerned woman from Meals on Wheels.

The couple has no children or grandchildren so “there’s no one calling them regularly,” said Knox. “And that’s why it’s important for neighbors to check on each other.”

Barron said the couple is expected to released from the hospital as early as Sunday.


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