Woman battling cancer thanks SBPD officers

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Pat Sobchak could have had a much different outcome to her day last week if it wasn’t for the South Bend Police Department.

“Just remember that there are angels out there walking on this Earth who will take care of you when you least expect it,” she said.

Sobchak, who is battling cancer, got a flat tire around 6:45 a.m. Thursday en route to her CT scan appointment. Luckily, she was able to pull into the parking lot at Jeannie’s House Dinner on Mishawaka Avenue where a group of police officers were having breakfast.

“And as it turned out, I didn’t have a spare tire in my car,” Pat told. “Anyway, walked into Jeannie’s, and there were four gentlemen from the South Bend Police Department sitting there. I had to ask them if they knew if anyone would come out to fix my tire this early in the morning.”

While the tire situation got figured out, Captain Joe Galea fixed one issue, driving Pat to her CT scan downtown.

“That way, she shouldn’t have to worry about rescheduling or delays - just the way everything is backed up in the medical field and elsewhere,” explained Galea.

Then came another unexpected blessing.

“And, as I was laying on the table, the nurse came out and said that Officer Joe called. He said he was at a meeting and that he would have someone else pick me up and take me to my next destination,” Pat recalled.

Lieutenant Kris Hinton drove Pat to work at Memorial Hospital.

“I explained to her what was going on, and then once we finished fixing her tire and getting it back on the car, we would bring her car to wherever she wants us to bring it to,” said Hinton.

Pat gets emotional recalling what happened later.

“I went to shake [Lt. Hinton’s] hand, and he asked if he could give me a hug, which he did. And he said that all of them were praying for me. It just overwhelmed, overwhelmed me that they were so willing to help someone that they didn’t knew - and all four of them. And I was so touched,” she said.

What’s more, the police department’s fleet manager got a tire from Paul’s Auto Yard and had it mounted on Pat’s car.

“I got a little verklempt about it because I’d hope somebody would do it for my mom, too,” said Bob Simmons, the South Bend Police Department fleet manager. “Nobody was in benefit from except for doing a good deed.”

Galea and Hinton are grateful to know Pat appreciated their help.

“One of our quotes that we work together on midnight’s together [is] about, ‘Do the right thing and the right way and for the right reasons,’” said Galea.

Hinton added: “And just to kind of know that we made a difference that day for her, that she didn’t feel alone. We all came together, and we were able to assist her in one of those, those events in life that we have to deal with that, sometimes, you feel alone, and coming together, she saw that she wasn’t alone.”

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