Mattie and Bud McGowan want to know just one thing: have you seen this man?
“I can’t really describe him, but he said he was 63. He had whiskers, and was an old guy something like me,” said Bud during a telephone interview.
The couple, who are both in their 80s, say they have been on the hunt for at least four weeks after a chance encounter in Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Chilliwack.
“It’s been closer to a month (that I’ve) been going over there trying to find him,” Bud continued, “but I haven’t been able to.”
The man in question was filling a prescription the day they got to chatting, explained Bud, who says he noticed the man struggling a bit with his four-wheel walker that had a tray on the front that was holding his oxygen tank, which had lines running up into the man’s nose.
“I said, ‘You need to buy one of these (motorized) carts.’”
The man then told Bud how he’d bought one off of Craigslist, but the batteries died and then the rear end went out of it.
After picking up their respective medications, the two men went on their ways, but Bud didn’t forget the man and his very apparent need, which Bud says he totally understands.
In his 85th year, Bud has a bad hip that’s about to be replaced, but still needs a scooter to maintain his independence. However, because of his scooter’s size and mobility issues, Bud needs to stretch his leg across the front end, which he says isn’t always the most comfortable for him.
So his children got together and bought their dad a new, bigger scooter that doesn’t require him to stretch his leg out. They wanted to sell his old model, but Bud says he had another idea.
“I right away thought of this fellow because he really needs it, but we can’t find him,” said Bud.
That’s how they ended up at offices of The Progress. After a month of visits to the drug store, the McGowans are hoping to spread a much wider net to locate the man from that fateful meeting because “(we) can’t find him no how!”
“It’s a Shoprider scooter, fairly new batteries in it, and it (works great),” said Bud. “I used to take it from our home and through the tunnel, under the train, and over to Safeway. I went all over with it before I got this other one, so it’s in good shape.”
But with Bud heading into hip replacement surgery soon, he says he’s really hoping to find this man as soon as possible, as he may be more limited during his recovery. And it would be “just wonderful” to find him before Christmas and bestow him with this gift, he added.
If you are the man in question, or believe you know the man the McGowans have been searching for, please contact Sarah Gawdin at The Chilliwack Progress, either by email or calling 604-702-5575, who will help facilitate a meeting.
“I can meet him over at the drug store again, whatever is best,” said Bud. But no matter what, they just really want to gift this gentleman with mobility this holiday season.