On the sunny afternoon of Christmas Eve, I was walking home from Jewel with my daughter, looking forward to attending an early evening church service. Suddenly I plunged forward onto the sidewalk, landing in what is commonly known as a face-plant.

I was bleeding and in pain, and while my daughter applied pressure to my cut cheek and called her dad, she helped me lie down in front of Famous Dave’s. After a few minutes, two North Riverside policemen arrived to investigate. 

I had tripped on a thin metal ring, a piece of construction debris that had been left on the sidewalk. North Riverside should take better care of its well-travelled sidewalks to prevent other injuries. 

Soon after, a woman left her car on busy Harlem Avenue and came to see what was happening. The woman said she was a doctor, asked me some questions and told me I should get to an emergency room. 

I recognized Dr. Diane Chaney, a Riverside resident and University of Chicago emergency room doctor. I told Dr. Chaney that my husband was on his way and thanked her for stopping. 

After a few hours in the Loyola Hospital emergency department, a CT scan and X-rays showed nothing broken. My kind Loyola doctor, Shannon Lovett, sewed up the cut under my eye with five precise stitches and sent me home.

I would like to thank Dr. Chaney for stopping to help me during her busy Christmas preparations. Even though I missed church, I felt the Christmas spirit through the actions of this Good Samaritan, a remarkable Riverside woman.

Susan Synnestvedt