A postal employee in New Hampshire is being called a local hero for helping save an elderly woman’s life.
Kayla Berridge was walking her 9-mile New Market route on January 27th when she noticed that one resident hadn’t picked up her mail for four days. The woman’s car was still parked in the drive as well.
The USPS worker stated that she would chat with the woman in 80s, and began to worry when her post was neglected. She also hadn’t seen her in a while.
The postal employee felt the need to request a home wellness check. She contacted Newmarket police and requested a welfare inspection.
“I just had a gut feeling and I just wanted to make sure,” she told WMUR. “Most people put a hold in if they’re not there, so when people pick up their mail every day, you start to notice their habits.”
The Newmarket Police Department was able to save the woman from being trapped on the bedroom floor. Officers believe she was there for at most three days.
“She realized it was an elderly person,” said Lt. Wayne Stevens, the first detective to arrive at the scene. “Usually, a lot of times communicates with her throughout the week … if not on a daily basis, and realized there was something that might have been astray and did the right thing by contacting us.”
Lt. Stevens could only hear the woman screaming for help when he knocked on her door. He arrived at the house with another officer who had previously visited her, and they were able to gain entry to the house.
The officers found the woman sleeping on her bedroom floor, covered in various art and frames, once they had entered. The officers found the woman on her bedroom floor under various items.
She was admitted to Exeter Hospital, where she was diagnosed with hypothermia and dehydration. Her family informed police that she was stable and well.
Kayla has never called for a wellness exam in her four-year career as a mail carrier. She stated that she is looking for signs such as mail piling up, no outgoing mail and a car parked in her driveway all the time.
“Newmarket is a great little town. Everyone has each other’s backs,” the postal employee said.
Lt. Stevens said this isn’t the first time they performed a wellness check requested by a mail carrier, but they rarely find someone in need of help.
“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,” wrote Lt. Stevens in a Facebook post.
On the other hand, Kayla isn’t exactly a fan of the “hero” label; she’s just glad about how things worked out.
“Yeah, it’s crazy. it’s crazy just by paying attention to details how much you could save someone’s life,” she said. “I like this job because I love my customers and getting to know them, and I feel like if people cared more and just paid attention … something we should all do.”
Kayla saved a life by her actions, but for Kayla, the moral of this story is simple.
“And that’s why it’s important to pick up your mail,” she said.
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