A Fayetteville, North Carolina, man says his prayers were answered after he placed a 911 call and asked a dispatcher to arrange to have groceries brought to his house.
WTVD News reports the emergency operator, Marilyn Hinson, went above and beyond after receiving the call. She went and got the man groceries herself.
"He was hungry," Hinson said in a videotaped interview with WTVD (shown below). "I've been hungry. A lot of people can't say that, but I can, and I can't stand for anyone to be hungry.”
The man’s name is Clarence Blackmon. He’s an 81-year-old cancer patient.
He had just returned home Tuesday after spending months in the hospital for cancer treatment and rehab, but his refrigerator and cupboards were empty. With no family living nearby, Blackmon said he had no choice but to call 911.
“I can't do anything, I can't go anywhere, I can't get out of my damn chair,” he can be heard saying in a recording of his emergency call.
Hinson said all he wanted was some cabbage, some cans of beans and beets, popcorn, tomato juice and soda.
So she got permission from a supervisor and went shopping. She delivered the groceries with the help of Fayetteville police officers and made Blackmon a ham sandwich upon arriving at his home.
He called the sandwich a feast.
"It was like a little miracle ringing in my ear," Blackmon said. "I thought, 'Jesus, you answered those prayers!’"
It’s not the first time a 911 dispatcher has been credited with answering a prayer. Nor is it the first time an emergency operator has bent a rule or gone the extra mile to help someone in need.
In February, WTVR News reported Galax, Virginia, emergency operator, Tim Webb, was credited with doing all of those things.
Webb told reporters about the day he received an emergency call from a frantic mother who said her son was having a seizure and had stopped breathing.
“It was the scariest day of my life. All I could do was say a prayer, over and over and over, please God don’t take my son from me,” the boy’s mother, Melissa Grable, recalled.
Webb knew emergency responders couldn’t get to the home for at least 20 minutes.
“Without some sort of life-saving measures, the child would expire. I wasn’t gonna let that happen, even if it meant being reprimanded,” he said.
Although not legally certified to do so, Webb said he decided to give the mother CPR instructions over the phone.
Those instructions were relayed to the boy’s grandmother, who kept the boy alive until paramedics could arrive.
Given the urgency of the situation, Webb's chief reportedly permitted him to give the instructions.
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube