East Bay woman wants to find stranger who helped saved elderly mother's life

An East Bay woman is determined to find the person who helped save her elderly mother's life.

Wendi Rankin of Dublin said she just wants to thank the good Samaritan. But the problem is Rankin doesn't know the person's name or how to find them.

"I don't think she understands the impact on my mom's life, my life, my kids' lives," Rankin said.

Rankin's mother, 76-year-old Holly Velando, went out alone Saturday for her usual walk along San Ramon Road in Dublin, not far from her home.

Velando passed by the Iceland Ice Skating Rink when she started to feel out of sorts, her daughter said.

"She felt like maybe she was a little bit lethargic. She became disoriented. Started walking in circles around the front of the parking lot," Rankin said.

That's when a woman who was walking along the same sidewalk came by.

"(She) stopped to say, 'Do you need help.' And my mom didn't want to be a bother so she just said no. And mom ended up sitting on the grass in front to catch her breath. And the woman said sit down. And that's the last thing my mom remembers," Rankin said.

Rankin said the woman immediately called 911. And authorities said that call is what saved the elderly woman's life.

An ambulance arrived and took Velando to Valley Care Hospital in Pleasanton where doctors said she suffered a heart attack.

"The doctor explicitly said any longer my mom probably would have died," Rankin said.

Velando has recovered well enough to leave the hospital.

The only question for Rankin: Who is the woman who helped save her mother's life?

Rankin said the only description she has of the woman is that she has dark, shoulder-length hair.

Rankin is so eager to find the woman that she has taken to social media. But nothing has come up.

Rankin is set on finding the woman because she wants to acknowledge her for taking a moment to care for a stranger.

"A lot of times people aren't paying attention. They're either looking at their phones. Or when people like my mom say they don't need help, a lot of people would have moved on. This woman didn't move on," Rankin said.

Rankin and her mother plan to be at the same location Saturday morning and they hope to run into the mystery woman.