The Internet demonstrated its ability to make an impact in the real world this week, with Reddit users coming together to help locate a man’s missing mother in New York City.
Redditor Joshgoldberg89 turned to the Reddit community on Tuesday, one day after his 59-year-old mother, May Goldberg, went missing from their apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, suffering from severe dementia and Alzheimer's.
â€” NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) April 22, 2014
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Soon after calling the New York Police Department, Joshgoldberg89 started a thread on the social news community asking users from the New York City area to be on the lookout for his mother:
“My mother went missing yesterday (4/21/14) after wandering out of my parent's apartment on W 69 St between Central Park West and Columbus. She was alone in the apartment at the time, and we believe she left in the early afternoon.
Her name is May Goldberg. She is 59 years old, Chinese, 5'6" 115 lbs. She has shoulder-length black hair and we believe she might be wearing a white, long-sleeve, zip-up fleece (NY1 article lists alternative clothing that she MIGHT be wearing). She speaks both Mandarin Chinese and English. She walks with a slight limp due to hip-replacement surgery she had several years ago. She has severe dementia.”
That same Tuesday evening, Redditor Geryorama commented on the Reddit post, explaining that he spotted Goldberg walking in midtown Manhattan:
“Hi guys. I am so glad May will be shortly reunited with her family. I was walking home from work around 9:30-10PM and I noticed May at East 47th and Lexington Avenue. As I saw Josh's post in the afternoon she looked very familiar. I quickly pulled out my phone and visited this page to ensure it is indeed her. When I realized it's her, I approached her, asked for her name, told her that her family is looking for her, and took her to Hyatt Hotel lobby to contact the police. The gentleman and lady at the Hyatt front desk were extremely helpful and they contacted the police. Two police officers arrived within 3 minutes. They identified May and I believe they called for an ambulance. In the meantime, I quickly sent a personal message to Josh via Reddit informing him that her mom has been found and that she is with the police.”
Two days after his mom went missing, Joshgoldberg89 confirmed on Wednesday that his mother was indeed found by Geryorama, expressing gratitude to the Reddit community for its help:
“MY MOM HAS BEEN FOUND! She is safe, but she is being checked out at the hospital as a precaution. A million thanks to /u/geryorama for finding her on the street and alerting the authorities. The outpouring of support has been completely overwhelming. My family and I send a HUGE thank you to the entire Reddit community. You are amazing. Thank you.”
Reddit users following the developments since the post first started rejoiced with the news and in typical Reddit fashion, jokingly described Geryorama as the "Where's Waldo champion of the world."