Tenaha employee saves life after regular customer doesn't show u - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Tenaha employee saves life after regular customer doesn't show up for coffee


A Tenaha man is recovering from a stroke tonight. He was found in his home alone all because he had not appeared at an Exxon store for his daily cup of coffee in two days. An employee called for the welfare check that saved his life. 

Mr. Van, of Tenaha, goes to the Exxon store, gets a cup of coffee, sits at the last table, and reads the paper every morning.  

"He comes in the store like clock work every morning. It's the same routine everyday," said Marache Henderson, an Exxon employee. 

Henderson is friendly and familiar with the regulars of the truck stop. Earlier in the week and into her shift, she noticed Mr.Van hadn't come by. 

"So Wednesday, I'm looking....4:30, he's not here," Henderson said. 

A gut feeling caused concern.  

"It worried me all night that something might be wrong with him," Henderson said. 

When Thursday came around, there was no sign of Mr. Van. Henderson went to law enforcement and asked that they go check on him. She said he was an elderly man in his 70's who lived alone. 

"I said could y'all please go check on Mr. Van because he hasn't been here in two days, and that's not like him, Henderson said.  "I just left his house, and I didn't get an answer." 

The welfare check that Henderson had been asking authorities for revealed that her instinct was dead on. 

"They went around the back and went in, and there he was," Henderson said.  "He had been there ever since Tuesday evening." 

Mr.Van was suffering from a stroke. If he had spent one more day on the floor, Mr.Van might have lost his life. Though the outgoing man is not able to come into the store, Henderson is blessed that she acted on a gut feeling. 

"I'm grateful that I could do that for someone. I would do that for anybody," Henderson said. 

Mr. Van was transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for his stroke. Family said he's not speaking yet, but he is responsive.

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