Astute Newmarket mail carrier Kayla Berridge had noticed during her shift on January 27th that the mailbox of one of her elderly recipients had been piling up for the last 4 days.
“I hadn’t seen her in a while and I noticed her mail wasn’t getting picked up, so I got a little concerned,” Berridge told CNN Friday. The woman, who is in her 80’s, would sometimes chat with her Berridge said.
Berridge noted that it was out of character for the old woman not to take in her mail. Her gut feeling told her something wasn’t right and that she ought to call for a wellness check on the home, just in case.
Her instinct proved correct. According to the Newmarket Police Department, the elderly woman had experienced some type of medical emergency and had either suddenly blacked-out or accidentally fell on the floor of her bedroom, laying there for 3 days and unable to get up.
Police Lt. Wayne Stevens told CNN that the first detective to arrive on the scene could faintly hear the woman calling for help as he knocked on the door.
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Once police were able to gain entry into the house, Lt. Stevens found the woman on the floor of her bedroom under a stack of artwork and frames which police believe she unintentionally grabbed off the bed for support as she fell to the ground.
The woman was rushed to the hospital, suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. She was still in the hospital as of Friday, however her family told Stevens she is stable and recovering from the fall.
An observant New Hampshire mail carrier is being lauded as a hero for helping to save an elderly woman’s life afterhttps://t.co/Wgvk3X346c— Conservative News Daily (@ConservNewsDly) February 1, 2022
According to the CDC, on average over 1,000 people die each year from hypothermia, a condition that affects an individual when their core temperature dips below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The condition, according to the National Institutes of Health, typically affects people who abuse alcohol or drugs, elderly, very young people, and the generally unhealthy.
Mild hypothermia can make a person dizzy, hungry, nauseous, and make it harder to speak clearly. Motor skills will start to fail and a person may feel tired.
Barridge acknowledged that during her 4 years as a mail carrier, she has never called for a wellness check until now, although she’s come close on a few occasions.
She explained that conscientious mail carrier’s, especially if they have a route where there are a number of senior citizens residing, look for tell-tale signs that something may be amiss, such as mail piling up in a mailbox, no outgoing mail, or a vehicle parked in a driveway in the exact same position for days.
“Newmarket is a great little town,” Berridge added. “Everyone has each other’s backs.”
Lt. Stevens acknowledged that this was the first time his department received a wellness check from a postal carrier.
“Without a doubt, she saved this lady’s life,” Stevens said. “That’s part of being a letter carrier in a small town and taking your job to the next level. She did a great job.”