Lebanon High senior comes to the aid of driver with health problem

Lebanon High baseball player Paddy Mooney, shown in the dugout during the Raiders' playoff game on May 25, 2023, at Pelham High in Pelham, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High baseball player Paddy Mooney, shown in the dugout during the Raiders' playoff game on May 25, 2023, at Pelham High in Pelham, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file photograph — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High hockey player Paddy Mooney listens to a speaker during the team's season-ending banquet on March 15, 2023, at Lebanon High in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High hockey player Paddy Mooney listens to a speaker during the team's season-ending banquet on March 15, 2023, at Lebanon High in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

Lebanon High hockey player Paddy Mooney participates in his team's season-ending

Lebanon High hockey player Paddy Mooney participates in his team's season-ending "Silly Skate" during which players modify their gear for laughs. The event took place on March 1, 2023, at Campion Rink in West Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

Lebanon High baseball player Paddy Mooney listens to coach Chauncey Woods speak after a May 9, 2023, game against NHIAA Division II foe Plymouth in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High baseball player Paddy Mooney listens to coach Chauncey Woods speak after a May 9, 2023, game against NHIAA Division II foe Plymouth in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley news file — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High's Paddy Mooney pitches against Bow during an NHIAA Division II junior varsity game on May 22, 2022, in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High's Paddy Mooney pitches against Bow during an NHIAA Division II junior varsity game on May 22, 2022, in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-03-2024 5:01 PM

Modified: 05-03-2024 6:06 PM


LEBANON — Those darn teenagers. No respect for their elders. Always on their smart phones. You know the narrative.

You must not know Lebanon High senior Paddy Mooney, however. The 18-year old recently aided 63-year old Mary Anne Sculley, who was suffering from a severe form of pneumonia and had become disoriented while attempting to drive from her vacation home in Bath, N.H., to her son’s residence in Durham.

Mooney, who played ice hockey and baseball for Lebanon, was driving away from a friend’s house in a neighborhood near the Carter Community Building when Sculley drove past and struck the curb, shredding her left, front tire. She pulled over, as did Mooney, who asked if she’d like him to put on the spare.

From the start, Mooney sensed something was off.

Sculley’s speech sounded odd, and after he’d watched a short YouTube video on his phone to learn how to best handle her Ford Maverick electric vehicle, she began breathing heavily and stuttering. Her 100-pound Great Dane, Vanna, was barking at the unfamiliar situation.

By then, Sculley’s physician son, Bobby, had called, wondering why she hadn’t arrived on the Seacoast. Bath is roughly an hour north of Lebanon and Bobby Sculley quickly searched online and discovered Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center was nearby. When his mother told him a young man was changing her tire, he asked to speak to Mooney.

“I told him I had a massive ask,” Bobby Sculley said, explaining that he was worried calling an ambulance might cause Vanna to become protective and hostile to the emergency workers and their accompanying lights, siren and stretcher. Mooney was agreeable to transporting the pair.

“A month after I got my driver’s license I got a flat tire on the highway and had no idea how to change it and someone pulled over and helped me,” the Grantham resident said. “I felt a debt and wanted to pay it back.”

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Mooney wasn’t confident in the stability of Sculley’s spare tire, so he had her and Vanna ride in the back of his car.

The dog leaned forward and licked his face en route to the emergency room. Once there, Sculley was wheeled inside and Bobby, who’d remained on the phone, explained her status to the reception staff.

Mooney then drove Vanna to a nearby kennel, where Bobby had booked an online stay. He politely declined the older man’s offer of payment for his work.

Mary Anne Sculley spent several days in the hospital. Her son said she had developed sepsis as a result of pneumonia. That dropped her blood pressure and she was somewhat delirious because of a lack of blood flow and oxygen to her brain. Sculley’s recovery progressed rapidly enough that she drove from Durham back to her year-round home in Delaware a week after her release.

“Character is truly the way you act when no one’s watching,” said Bobby Sculley, who served in Afghanistan and remains a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves. “Paddy wasn’t on the clock, but he realized the gravity of the situation and took care of my mom and the dog like they were members of his own family.”

Dean Cashman, who coached Mooney on Lebanon’s hockey team last winter, noted that while the hard-hitting forward skated every other shift for 21 games, he was not penalized the entire season. At 5-foot-8 and 150 rugged pounds built in a weight room over his family’s garage, Mooney left sprawled opponents in his wake, but hit with his shoulders and his stick down.

“He’s a true gentleman,” Cashman said, recalling that Mooney thanked his coaches after every practice and game. “Everything you want as a first-class player and person.”

Self-promotion and gab isn’t Mooney’s style. Cashman said Lebanon’s coaches and players could all tell the senior had his life squared away, but that additional details were rarely forthcoming. His 20-year old sister, Ellie, however, said her younger brother is chatty with family and longtime friends.

“He’s a happy person to be around and he’s never childish,” said Ellie Mooney, a dental assistant in the Upper Valley. “We never had a fighting phase and we’ve always worked well together.”

Paddy Mooney is a dog person and a blossoming cook who threw a quality knuckleball during three seasons in Lebanon’s baseball program. He’s also the owner of an automobile-detailing business who’s building a clientele by pricing his services slightly below average for the area and working diligently on each vehicle. He sometimes spends 10 hours on a job if the customer has paid for the premium package.

“Paddy doesn’t ask me for money; he wants to earn it,” said his father, Jim Mooney, who works for the U.S. Secret Service and is a former hockey goaltender at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., where his son will matriculate in August. “He’s no angel, trust me, but he’s mature around the house, especially when I’m traveling.”

Another Norwich graduate, Lebanon High athletic director Mike Stone, fielded a recent call from Bobby Sculley, who wanted someone to know what Mooney had done. The information didn’t surprise Stone, who’s long recognized the young man as one of the school’s quiet leaders.

“There were a couple of points where Paddy could have walked away, but he didn’t,” said Stone, previously a longtime coach at Hartford High. “He took the time to do all that was needed and I couldn’t be prouder of him.

“There are some really good kids out there and he’s one of them.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.