An elderly town couple — married for nearly three quarters of a century — was out of the hospital this morning after a carbon monoxide scare Wednesday evening, their son confirmed.
Stella and Frank Wtodarczak, who are both in their late 90s, were taken to Albany Medical Center for carbon monoxide poisoning. Frank had inadvertently left the car running in the garage, son Donald Wtodarczak said.
Stella was first overcome. When Frank couldn’t get her up, he called son Donald for help.
Donald Wtodarczak counted his mother falling as a blessing.
“It was just good that my mom had fallen in the house and he couldn’t pick her up,” Donald said. “I don’t think he realized what was going on.”
“I hate to see somebody fall, but it was a blessing.”
When Donald arrived, he smelled the exhaust immediately and called paramedics.
Rotterdam Police, along with Rotterdam EMS responded. Carbon monoxide meters indicated a very high level of the gas inside the home, police said.
The couple was taken to Albany Medical Center, one by ambulance, the other by Med Flight.
Family members spent the night with the couple at the hospital. They were released by 6 a.m. after their blood levels returned to normal.
Frank Wtodarczak is a retired Army Depot worker, Stella is retired from General Electric. They married April 22, 1934 at St. Adalbert’s Church in Schenectady, according to their 2004 announcement for their 70th wedding anniversary. Their 74th is coming this year.
They had three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, at the time of the announcement.
“They’re just down-to-earth people who worked hard their whole lives and they’re enjoying their golden years,” Donald said. “But age is catching up to them.”