CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- Charlie Cook, a World War II veteran, was found by his neighbors, in the road covered with an inch of snow.
"I’m the luckiest guy in the world,” Cook said.
His newfound friends, Ray, and Ray’s 15-year-old son Logan, rescued Charlie Saturday, from where he had collapsed on the ground.
The Kunze family moved just up the block from Cook about seven months ago, but their first hellos came during Saturday’s blizzard.
Cook was down for more than ten minutes.
Ray, a retired Navy medic literally stumbled upon Cook in the street.
They said it’s scary to think that he could have frozen to death, or gotten run over.
“He told us he had been laying there and he asked God to send help, then we rounded the corner," Kunze added.
“I couldn’t have gotten up without help [spelled] with four capital letters," Cook exclaimed.
Kunze said just minutes earlier they were about to walk in the opposite direction, but he listened to his wife Rachel who suggested they walk the circle near their home.
That’s when they came across Mr. Cook covered by snow on the ground near a mailbox.
Cook had visited a neighbor for dinner and was headed home just two doors away when he fell down.
“With it being dark and all the snow and everything, if you weren't looking then you wouldn't have seen it. It looked like a bush was sticking up from the road. Then you heard a faint cry of ‘help me,’" Kunze said.
Cook said his prayers were answered when Ray and his family walked up.
Across Virginia there have been five hypothermia related deaths in the storm; a total of 8 people died in relation to the blizzard, though two weren’t officially counted.
Cook understands how things could have taken a tragic turn, if it weren’t for his neighbors.
He said he owes them a debt of gratitude. He thanked all of his other neighbors who have also checked on him since the storm. One woman next door stopped by and even made a run to the store for Cook to make sure he had all of his medicine.
Cook said he’s thrilled at the support shown by his neighbors, but he’s also sad.
Pretty soon he will put his home on the market so he can move down south with his son, a retired pharmacist. Cook lives alone because his wife died five years ago.
In the meantime, he plans to enjoy the good company of his caring neighbors.
“Life just does stuff to you sometimes that you don’t expect, but it can be beautiful, nonetheless,” he said.
“It’s what makes the world go round,” Cook said. “People helping people.”