November 5th, 2010
01:49 AM ET

Ambulance makes stop to allow sick 83-year-old to vote

An 83-year-old man cast his ballot from a stretcher after persuading an ambulance crew taking him home from the hospital to detour to his local polling station.

Retired doctor Charles Gorby said he has never missed an election since he returned from World War II. He was not about to miss his first one on Tuesday.

"I imposed upon the ambulance crew if they could take me about a block beyond where I live to the firehouse where we vote in my area," said Gorby of Havertown, Pennsylvania.

"I made sure they didn't have an urgent commitment that would make that request irresponsible."

Carole Lieblein, a poll watcher at the station, said the EMT was unsure of the request.

"The ambulance pulled up and the EMT came in and said he had a gentleman with him who wanted to vote," she said,chuckling as she recalled the emergency medical technician's expression of, "Can I really ask this?"

After the judge of election deemed the request appropriate, Gorby said, the main doors to the fire station opened to allow the stretcher into the building.

Other people in line moved aside, and a voting booth was selected, he said.

"My feet and legs were sticking out," Gorby said.

He was in and out in about five minutes, Lieblein said.

"We all wished we had a camera," she said. "Everybody was very impressed that this gentleman was that determined to vote."

Gorby, a World War II veteran, said he enlisted when he was 17.

"At that time, you could not vote until you were 21, and I was one of those who thought my God, you could get shot for the country but you could not vote."

If he had not made it to the polls, Gorby said it would have been the first time he has failed to vote.

"He hasn't missed an election since he's been back from World War II, he's an outstanding guy, and we'd do anything for him," said Mike Fasone of Wissinoming volunteer ambulance.

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Filed under: Elections • Pennsylvania
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. ßetty

    my hat goes off to the doctor, you people should go back and read the story just a few more times, because the wording was he was getting a ride home from the hospital and asked to be droped off to vote its not like he said take me to the voting place so i can vote at least he asked and it doesn't matter who he voted for at least he did. You go doctor your the hero in my book .

    November 5, 2010 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shecky

    If he's a WWII vet, that means he's a patriot and loves his country.
    THEREFORE, he MUST have voted Republican.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    God bless this man, and the people who brought him to vote. As a veteran (and one of the few who vote democrat), I am proud to feel like this man is a part of my family. I don't care who he voted for. He deserved the chance to vote, same as everybody. There is not enough respect paid to veterans these days. They put their lives on the line for our freedom, and therefore deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This is a wonderful article because it highlights one mans determination to do his civic duty, regardless of his own personal health issues. I see stories about vets who can't find work. I hear stories of vets being treated with disdain. Everybody in this country needs to realize that what our armed service members do (or did in his case) is as important as anything anybody else has ever done. I commend you Dr. Gorby. Thank you for reminding everybody what being an American is all about, both in your youth as a service member, and in your twilight years as well.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Reality check

    Excellent story! Wonder how long will it take for some jack wad to sue over this! You know someone will.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Vince

    I wonder if he'll be around to vote Tea Party again in 2012. Aren't they largely supported by seniors? tick...tock....tick....tock.....

    November 5, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  6. BoFo

    In my humble opinion, anyone who has anything negative to say about this is an idiot.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pjordan

    What a cool guy!

    November 5, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. jay

    This man was in an ambulance on the way home and still voted. whats your excuse.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel

    Now that was refreshing. With all of the fear mongering, party bickering, people hating BS, reading this just put a smile on my face. When I went to the polls last Tuesday, I felt proud. I used to be iffy on whether or not my vote really mattered, but now-a-days, I can't understand why someone WOULDN'T want to vote. Glad you still made it! (unless of course you voted Rep... j/k)

    November 5, 2010 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jorge

    Yeah, seriously. The guy is someone to look up to. It's great that they still write stories like this. If we all live like this, the country will always go in the right direction, dem or rep.

    November 5, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Amelia

    The EMT did a great job taking the man to vote!! Nothing wrong with that! He was not going to a bar or go sell drugs he did something good.

    November 5, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. Viper

    Finally, A "warm/fuzzy" story I can get behind.

    Semper Fi Dr. Gorby

    November 5, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. clefumbles

    i guess he didn't need the ambulance that bad then........waste of tax payer dollars

    November 5, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      DEar god do you have to complain! TAke a nap And calm down. CLearly he did need it! The brought him in on the stretcher!

      November 5, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kay

    You people need to lightn up! This is just a cool story about an amazing man who made sure to vote. I love it!

    November 5, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. ohio

    i didnt vote! this mans story made me want to vote! countrys great! its biggest problem is all the people!!!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
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