An Alabama mail carrier rescued a man who was trapped in his house for 10 days after being injured in a fall.
Cissy Cartwright, a mail carrier in Hope Hull, Alabama, was delivering mail on her normal route when she noticed that 66-year-old Tommy Hope hadn’t checked his mail in several days, WBRC reported in July. Cartwright had learned the habits of those on her route, and she knew that Hope had back problems. When she noticed his mail hadn’t been checked, she decided to pull up into his driveway and investigate.
Upon pulling up, Cartwright noticed Hope’s front door open and the hood of his truck up. She went to the door and yelled for the man, who yelled back for help. She went inside to find him on the floor, dehydrated and injured from a fall he suffered more than a week earlier. She called 911 and waited with him until emergency workers arrived.
“I was in shock but I was just so relieved that when I did yell for him, he answered me," she told WBRC. "I'm just glad I found him when I did."
Hope fell on July 4 and sustained injuries including broken bones in his arm and others to his leg and hip. He was unable to get to his phone and make any calls. He survived only on a five-gallon bucket of rainwater that he kept near the front door for when his truck overheats.
“He has to be a strong man because to do some of the things he did to survive, it was just amazing to me,” Cartwright said. “He calls me his hero and if that's what he wants to say, I'm good with it. But I don't feel like a hero. I was just at the right place at the right time.”
Following the rescue, Cartwright was nominated for the Postmaster General’s Hero Award.
Postmaster Sherry Hughes said of Cartwright:
"What Cissy did was a true heroic act. She went out that morning just doing her every day, normal job and we have a program here in Hope Hull to look after our elderly. Mr. Hope was not targeted as one of those seniors so what she did on her own was decide to check on him because he had not checked his mail.
“When he was being put on the stretcher that day, he looked right up at me and said, 'I knew she would come. She just saved my life.' I knew then that she has definitely earned her title as a hero, even though she will tell you she was just doing her job. I'm so proud of her. And she did it just in time because if she had waited any longer, he might not be with us today. And he is so thankful to her.”
A similar incident occurred in January when a Colorado mailman saved the life of a customer who was bleeding and nearly unconscious inside of his home, KKTV reported at the time.