Annatjie Moolman went missing from her home, this left her family in panic as she suffers from Alzheimer’s but a petrol attendant found her and helped reunite her with her family.
Annatjie Moolman (70) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Annatjie lives in Pretoria with her husband, their son Dirk (49), lives in the house next door.
One terrifying day, Annatjie left her family home in her car. They had no idea why she was in the car as she was no longer allowed to drive. Her youngest son, Anton confirmed to Maroela Media that she had disappeared at around 11 am on Monday morning.
“She left the house at 11:00 on Monday and drove away in her silver Toyota RunX. We do not know why she drove because she is no longer supposed to drive, ” – Anton Moolman (46)
They later learned from Des (87), Annatjies husband, that she drove off and was not back home yet. They immediately jumped into action and started looking for her. The family called around, they visited police stations and hospitals and even drove around the streets to search for her and the car. Her middle son Leon (48), her eldest son Dirk and Dirk’s wife used to social media in the hope that someone might have noticed Annatjie. Her cellphone was switched off the entire time.
At 22:15, the family received a call from a stranger who confirmed that Annatjie was safe and at a Sasol filling station in Rivonia, Johannesburg which is about 40 km away from her home. She had gotten confused and wandered off when she wanted to visit her cousin, who lived near her. According to her son, she would never have driven that far alone.
The stranger on the other side of the phone was petrol attendant Prosper Sebata. He realised something was wrong and worked to calm Annatjie down so he could help her.
“Prosper Sebata had compassion on her. He saw her being confused and crying in the car. He assisted her and helped her to charge her phone. He also bought her water with his own money and made coffee. He then got her calm so that she could focus, after which he asked her questions until he could determine to call Dirk.” – Anton
As soon as the family got the news they set off to go and fetch her.
“We were all in tears. When I arrived there, I embraced Prosper. He is an angel and a true hero. My mother was a total stranger to him, yet he had compassion for her and went out of his way to help. I could see how love radiated from his face. There is so much racial tension currently in the country, but here’s love over colour boundaries.” – Anton
Anton confirmed that Annatjie was taken home and put into bed. She doesn’t remember anything from Monday. The family is taking big steps to prevent this from happening again.
“It’s getting better with her now and she’s over stress, but still confused. She is already taking medication and speaking to a neurologist, but we will have to take more effective steps so that something like this won’t happen again. We are just grateful that she is safe with us. “
Anton is thankful for everyone involved including the community that helped in the initial search. The family plans to thank Prosper properly very soon. Meet Prosper…