A USPS worker in Chicago is being hailed as a hero after saving the life of an 89-year-old woman who had fallen in her home. Shonda Lemon, who had been delivering mail to Helen Iwanski for the past four years, called the police when she noticed that the elderly woman hadn’t picked up her letters in three days, FOX29 reported.
It was an instinctive reaction for Lemon, who had learned from her routine conversations with Iwanski that the woman lived alone, didn’t have children and hadn’t traveled in years.
“We gained a nice, little, personal relationship with one another,” said the letter carrier who has worked for USPS in Chicago for eight years. “Those factors alone is what triggered me to know that there was something wrong, especially when she left her parcels on the porch overnight.”
When police responded to Lemon’s call, they learned that the woman had been laying on the floor for days after falling in her home. But Lemon was simply happen to know that her customer is still alive.
“I began to cry, because it was a rejoicing moment for me, knowing that I had assisted her in sparing her life,” the USPS employee told FOX29. “And, ya know it was just the pain and thought of what she may have been going through for those three days on the floor.”
Iwanski’s family is expressing their gratitude while their loved one recovers in the hospital.
“[Lemon] is one of God’s children and she was looking out for another one of his kids,” Mary Mason, Iwanski’s niece, said. “My aunt sends her love and appreciation to Shonda for being there for her. She said she will be forever grateful for Shonda caring enough to call the police. My family continues to pray for Shonda and want nothing but the best for her always.”
USPS also praised its heroic employee.
“Postal Service employees know the habits of their customers and the rhythms of their communities, and are often the first to notify emergency personnel and render aid when something is wrong,” Tim Norman, a spokesperson with USPS, told FOX29. “Employees have been commended for going above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of situations, such as assisting lost children, getting help for sick or injured customers, spotting fires, and more.”
The letter carrier said she is always concerned about her elderly customers.
“At the end of the day, we’re a village, and we need each other to look out for one another,” she said. “This is more than a job for me. It’s more of a community, it’s more of a village, and I’m just thankful that I paid attention to these circumstances and was able to spare this woman’s life.”
In another heroic act last year, postal worker Fernando Garcia acted quickly when he heard a man screaming for help in Norwalk, Calif. After noticing that the man had cut his arm with a chainsaw, Garcia used his belt as a tourniquet and waited for medics to arrive, The New York post reported.
In Jackson, Michigan, Linda Morea noticed that one of her customers hadn’t picked up his mail in days. The letter carrier then called police, who found the 83-year-old man on the ground, but still breathing, WLNS reported.
The hospital later determined that the man was suffering from complications of COVID-19 and the call that Morea made saved his life.