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Cabbie comes to aid of fall victim
Elderly woman, family thankful for the effort
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It started out as just a routine pick-up for Great Bend cabbie Robert Miller last Wednesday. It turned into a whole lot more and the incident has some calling Miller a hero.
Miller had an appointment to meet 87-year-old Lucille Branan at her Van Buren Street home at 1 p.m. Wednesday. However, when he rounded the corner in his taxi, she wasn’t there.
“I didn’t see her so I called,” Miller said. Unbeknownst to anyone, Branan had fallen, breaking her hip in two places.
“I was lying on the floor in such pain,” Branan said from her room at Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington. “I said to myself ‘OK, you don’t want to lay here for days. What are you going to do?’”
The spry and quick-thinking Branan scooted on her back to get closer to the phone and used her cane to knock it off the hook and answer Miller’s call. “I knew then she was in trouble,” Miller said.
“The doctor told me it is a miracle I didn’t pass out because the pain was so severe,” Branan said. “I kept telling myself to ‘stay alert, stay alert.’”
Branan found the garage remote control in her purse and opened the door so Miller could get into the house. “She was yelling for help,” the taxi driver said.
Miller then called 911 and comforted Branan until the ambulance arrived. “This all took place in a 10-minute time,” Branan said.
She was initially transported to Great Bend Regional Hospital and has since been released and is now at Clara Barton for rehabilitation.
“She told me I saved her life,” Miller said. A Claflin native, Branan has very little family in the area, and most of her relatives live in Colorado and Tennessee.
“They called me and thanked me,” Miller said. “They said I was an angel in disguise.”
 “We are very appreciative of this gentleman,” said Gary Kaiser, Branan’s son who now lives near Nashville, Tenn. With no one around to check up on her, the family feels she may not have survived the ordeal.
“She’s a very independent person,” Kaiser said of his mom. She had an appointment to have her hair done and was prepared to drive herself to the beautician.
However, her street was icy and snow-packed. So, reluctantly, she opted for a cab.
As she reached to put on her jacket and pick up her purse, she fell.
“This is pretty unusual,” Kaiser said about Miller’s extra effort. “He took the time and initiative to call her.”
There is a chance Branan could have again used her cane to get the phone and call for help, but who knows, Kaiser said.
Now, this fiercely independent woman has to take it easy and recuperate. “This is a really tough blow for her,” said Kaiser, who came to Great Bend to be with his mother.
“I don’t know how long I will have to be here at the hospital,” Branan said. She can’t stand on the broken leg for two to three weeks.
She realizes she may have to move somewhere that offers some assistance. But, “time heals all wounds,” she said.
“It made me feel good,” Miller said. “That’s all the thanks I need.”
A Great Bend native, Miller is the Great Bend area supervisor for BMB Enterprises, a taxi company based in Hays.