Cambridge man hailed a 'hero' for rescuing 76-year-old woman with dementia

A Cambridge man has a message about compassion after he rescued a 76-year-old woman who had forgotten where she lived.

Maioro Barton was driving home from a friend's house in Hamilton late on Tuesday night.

At around 11:30pm he saw a woman sitting on a bench in the nearby town of Cambridge.

"I thought that's a little unusual 'cause it's freezing outside," he told Newshub on Thursday.

He drove on, but as he did, Barton couldn't get the thought of the woman out of his mind.

"So I went around the roundabout, back over the bridge, and went to see if they were okay and offered them a ride and offered to drop them off home 'cause they looked really freezing," he said.

The woman hesitantly got into his car after he reassured her it was safe and it became obvious she wasn't in a good way.

"She was visibly cold, her nose was dripping. Even though she had a big jacket on she was still freezing so I turned on my heater and thawed her out. She was pretty appreciative of that," he said.

When Barton attempted to drop the woman home, she couldn't remember where she lived. Barton drove her to a nearby BP station and phoned the police to see if they could assist the pair.

Cambridge police were busy dealing with an incident nearby and couldn't come out to help the unlikely duo.

"We took selfies and listened to her favourite band, The Beatles, while we waited for them to arrive," Barton wrote in a post on Facebook.

Barton and the woman he rescued - the woman's face has been blurred to protect her identity
Barton and the woman he rescued - the woman's face has been blurred to protect her identity Photo credit: Facebook/ Maioro Barton

Comments on the post have commended Barton on his actions, calling him a hero.

"Mario you are a hero and have restored my faith in man kind. You're awesome," wrote one woman.

After a two hour wait at the gas station, police managed to identify Barton's new friend. 

"The police operator had a note on file for her saying she had dementia and Alzheimer's. They also had a note to contact her daughter if she goes missing," he wrote.

The following day Barton was still thinking about the woman.

"I had been thinking about her all day the day after so I gave her daughter a text just to see if she was okay and we had a chat," he told Newshub.

Barton says it's important to be aware of the people around you.

"I think people just need to be more aware of our surroundings, especially our older and more vulnerable people."



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