A ride for recovery

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Car donation sought to help borough couple

A donation of a car is being sought to help Harold and Brenda Wolf of Naugatuck get to and from weekly treatments at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. –LUKE MARSHALL
A donation of a car is being sought to help Harold and Brenda Wolf of Naugatuck get to and from weekly treatments at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The ride from Naugatuck to Bridgeport isn’t a daunting one for someone in good health and reliable transportation. For one borough couple, the trip every week is a challenging one.

Deacon Timothy Bolton, coordinator of pastoral care at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, is seeking a donation of a reliable car to help Harold Wolf, 53, drive to and from the center for treatment.   

Harold Wolf suffered a severe heart attack in 2008, which left him with permanent heart damage.

“Up until a year ago, his condition was unstable, and he was assessed for a possible heart transplant, but it turned out he was not a candidate,” Bolton wrote in an email.

Bolton stated through his treatment, Wolf’s condition seems to be stable.

Last month the car Wolf relied on to get to and from the medical center blew a head gasket and the repairs were too expensive, Bolton said.

Even though he does not have reliable transportation, Harold Wolf and is wife Brenda still need to get to and from the medical center for his weekly check-ups and medications.

Harold’s sister has helped when possible, according to Bolton, but a fulltime job renders her unable to provide transportation during the daytime.

On March 11, the couple had no choice but to make the trip without a ride.

They left their home on Thunderbird Drive at 3:45 a.m. to begin the two-mile trek to the Naugatuck train station on Water Street, Brenda Wolf recalled.

To make it to the train station Harold Wolf had to bring his large oxygen tank with him.

“When we got to the station I said, ‘I don’t feel too good,’” Brenda Wolf recalled.

Brenda Wolf, who has epilepsy, had a seizure on the platform while waiting for the train.

They were able to board the train to Bridgeport at 6 a.m. and, once in Bridgeport, had to walk another mile to the bus station to catch a bus that would bring them to the medical center, Brenda Wolf said.

“By the time we got on the bus my husband was tired and had pains in his chest,” Brenda Wolf said.

The couple finally arrived at the medical center more than four hours after they left their home. That day the hospital was able to provide the Wolfs with a voucher to take a taxi back home. According to Bolton, the taxi costs $62 each way.

Harold Wolf suffered another major heart attack on March 18 and was brought to St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury before being transferred to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Once again, the medical center provided him with a taxi voucher to get back home.

Harold Wolf has held numerous jobs, including school bus driver, housekeeper, custodian and working in a lumber yard. Because of their health conditions, the Wolfs are currently unable to work.  

“His work was his identity. He’s not able to work anymore and that’s hard for him,” Bolton said.

Charon Torres, RN, is one of the nurses who treats and cares for Harold on Tuesdays. 

“We all know Harold and Brenda. It’s like a family here,” she said in an email. “Their situation is so difficult. There must be someone out there who can donate a car to help them out.”

Bolton said anyone who has an extra car that they would be able to donate can contact him at (203) 576-5110 or through email at Timothy.Bolton@stvincents.org.