Originally Posted Online: March 16, 2012, 7:00 pm
Last Updated: March 16, 2012, 8:02 pm
New Boston letter carrier saves the day for fallen elderly customer
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By Leon Lagerstam, firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW BOSTON — A letter carrier in New Boston was hailed as a heroine Friday for saving the life of an elderly man who hadn't picked up his mail for a couple days.
Ann Comer was just starting her deliveries in New Boston when she noticed a mail box belonging to Jim Waite, one of her customers in the 900 block of Cottage Road, still had mail in it from a couple days ago.
"That wasn't normal for him to do," she said. "He always picks up his mail."
Bothered by it, Ms. Comer walked across the street to speak to neighbors John and Alice Butler. Next, the Butlers and Ms. Comer noticed the man's next door neighbor, Marilyn Masengarb hanging clothes out to dry.
Together, they tried calling and walking around the house knocking on doors and windows.
They contacted New Boston Police Chief Mike DeFrieze, who then called Kenny Whitmire, a nephew of Mr. Waite's. Mr. Whitmire had a key to the house.
After gaining access to the house, Chief DeFrieze found Mr. Waite lying on the floor and arranged for him to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.
"I'd say our mail lady saved his life," Ms. Masengarb said. "I'm glad she noticed. As hot as it has gotten, another day may have been too late. Ann's certainly a heroine of mine."
"I'm glad I was paying attention," Ms. Comer said. "I'm relieved and happy he's OK."
Ms. Masengarb added that it gives her an added sense of security knowing people such as "our mail lady Ann" pay such close attention.
Late Friday afternoon, Mercer County Hospital chief operating officer Myron Higgins said Mr. Waite was in good, stable condition.
Ms. Comer was quick to talk about an earlier, similar incident involving a co-worker a few months ago. A letter carrier colleague named Roger Andress came to the rescue of a man on a roof of a home just outside Joy. The man had broken his ankle.
"Roger took a blanket up to him and waited for ambulance crews to arrive," Ms. Comer said. "I mentioned at the time that I hoped I would be aware enough as a carrier to be able to do something like that. Now I know I was."
She hopes people hearing about potential postal service cuts remember that letter carriers do a lot more than just deliver the mail.
"We have a lot of loyal employees," she said, "who do a lot of good things."