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King City author praises neighbors who come to her aid in time of need

Nearby residents rush to help PJ Cowan who is trapped in her garage after a fall


by: FILE PHOTO/REGAL COURIER - KEEPS ON PUBLISHING - PJ Cowan was photographed with a handful of her books in 2012.A King City resident who suffered a bad fall on March 14 is singing the praises of her neighbors who swooped in to help her, with "I love living in King City" becoming her mantra.

"On Friday I had a bad fall in my garage," PJ Cowan wrote in an email that was posted on King Net. "I couldn't get up but was able to open my garage door with the broom handle and yell for help. Three neighbors responded quickly. They called 9-1-1 for me, covered me, gave me something to hold over the gash in my head, and waited with me until the paramedics arrived. They turned off my electronics and locked up for me as well.

"I don't know how they would feel about having names out there, so I won't (mention them by name). But, to illustrate just how blessed I am to have them as neighbors, I broke my left wrist in the fall and am pecking out this thank you with one finger. I LOVE LIVING IN KING CITY."

Cowan later elaborated to the Regal Courier, "It would have been so much easier for them to just call 9-1-1 and not stick around to help, but they stayed by my side until the paramedics got here, brought me clean towels to hold over the gash in my head, and put something behind my back for me to lean on as I sat on the garage floor.

"They covered me, and called my son and husband (who were already at the Meridian Park hospital clinic for an appointment for my husband), turned off my electronics and locked up for me. It doesn't get any better than that.

"Well, maybe it does. The paramedics got there in short order, were careful, respectful, friendly and professional, and the ER staff was the same way. If one could say that an emergency visit to the ER was a pleasant experience, it would be yours truly. I hope it never happens again, but if it should, I know that I can count on my neighbors to be there for me. What a great community we live in. I will say it again, I love King City."

Two weeks after her fall, on March 28, Cowan reported, "I am fine now. The stitches are out, and the cast comes off my arm in four weeks."

Cowan may be familiar to Regal Courier readers because she was featured in the November 2012 issue under the headline, "She's the 'Grandma Moses' of kids' books."

In 2008, when Cowan was 74 years old, she decided to start writing the stories that had been swirling around in her head. She found illustrators and at the time of the article, she had published 21 books.

"Children's book authors are a dime a dozen nowadays, and books are for sale everywhere," Cowan said in the article. "I am different because I don't sell my books. I give them away to homeless shelters, children's services organizations and children's hospitals in Oregon, Utah, Colorado, California and Kansas."

Cowan explained that she "paid for her hobby" by occasionally selling a few books but mainly by using her Social Security income and a constantly maxed-out credit card.

On top of that, Cowan has macular degeneration, which is the loss of vision in the center of the visual field, but with a giant monitor, she is able to write her books and do correspondence.

In her March 28 email, Cowan also provided an up-to-date accounting of her current publishing activities.

"I did the math, and I now give to 37 shelters, hospitals and reading/free book programs run by community services in Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, Missouri, California and Illinois," Cowan wrote.

"In five years, I was blessed to be able to donate 7,300 copies of my books. I have self -published 36 to date and have four waiting at the printers while I save the dollars for the printing. I have sold a few books, with the proceeds going into my book donation fund."