Mail carriers are some of the best built-in neighborhood watches you can get. They get used to people and places and can generally tell when something is “off.”
Kayla Berridge works for the U.S. Postal Service in Newmarket, New Hampshire, and has a pretty good grasp of life on her route.
One woman in particular, in her 80s, routinely collected her mail every day. She and Berridge had spoken several times.
So when the mail started to pile up, Berridge grew concerned.
On Thursday, she noted that four days of deliveries stood untouched and the elderly woman’s car was still in the driveway.
Though Berridge had never requested a wellness check before, she knew in her gut it was the right thing to do.
“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.
“I just had a gut feeling and I just wanted to make sure [she was OK],” Berridge told WCVB-TV in Boston. “When people pick up their mail every day, you start to notice their habits.”
She made the call, and police arrived to check the home. They found the woman in her bedroom, trapped under a pile of belongings that appeared to have collapsed on top of her.
“Detective Wedgeworth was the first officer on scene and could hear the elderly female inside the residence yelling for help,” the Newmarket Police Department posted on Facebook on Thursday.
“Officer McGloughlin, the second officer that responded, was familiar with the address. Based on prior contacts McGloughlin was able to help gain entry to the house.
“Once inside the residence officers discovered the elderly subject was trapped under items that had fallen on her inside the bedroom. It was determined that she had been trapped on the floor for at least 3 days and possibly longer.”
Newmarket Fire and Rescue arrived to transport her to the hospital. She was treated for hypothermia and dehydration — but her situation could have been much worse if not for Berridge.
“It is this department’s belief that Kayla’s knowledge of the people on her route as well as her attentiveness saved the life of this resident,” Newmarket police Lt. Wayne Stevens told CNN.
“That’s part of being a letter carrier in a small town and taking your job to the next level,” he said. “She did a great job.”
“Newmarket is a great little town,” Berridge said. “Everyone has each other’s backs.”
The unnamed woman was still in the hospital on Friday, but her family said she was doing well and she was expected to make a full recovery.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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