Ramona pharmacist makes unusual house call to find patient on the floor

RAMONA, Calif. - A Ramona pharmacist had a gut feeling something was wrong when one of his patients did not pick up his medication. He was right.

Murray Frankel, 88, is described as an expert mechanic and a jokester.

"He loved to tell people jokes. He would stop people on the streets, total strangers," said his son, Gary Frankel.

Frankel also loved yard sales.

"He was here with his dog 'Yard Sale' that he got at a yard sale," his son added.

John Robertson was Murray Frankel's pharmacist. About four weeks ago, on a Saturday night, he did something very unusual after Frankel could not pick up his medication.

"I dropped it off at his house and we hung out for maybe an hour and just got to know each other," said Robertson.

He had dropped off just an emergency 72-hour supply of medication.

"We're about taking care of people and making sure that their safety is our primary concern," said Robertson.

Frankel would need to pick up the rest of the medication on Monday. But when Robertson called to check on him, he said Frankel did not respond to any of his calls.

"I called him probably four or five times," said Robertson.

When Frankel did not pick up his prescriptions, Robertson went to his house.

"Tuesday morning, I woke and kind of out of the ordinary I said, 'Look, I have to go check on this guy,'" said Robertson.

He knocked on the door but no one answered and all he saw was the Sunday newspaper.

"The fact that it's a Sunday paper … it's Tuesday morning," said Robertson.

Robertson and a neighbor looked around the property then called the police.

"The police did a forced entry and that's when they found him," said Robertson.

Frankel suffered a stroke and was taken to the hospital. His son came down from Seattle when he received the news.

Unfortunately, Frankel passed away three weeks later. His family is grateful Robertson found him and that Frankel was surrounded by those he loved in his final moments.        

"I think it's extraordinary that he would make the effort and come all the way out here and check on a customer," said Gary Frankel.

On Wednesday, Robertson was honored for going above and beyond the call of duty by the California Pharmacy Board.

Robertson tells 10News he would do it again and hopes others pharmacists would do the same.

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