A New Hampshire postal worker is being credited with helping save an elderly woman’s life after noticing a change in her mailbox.
Kayla Berridge, a United States Postal Service employee, requested a welfare check for a resident of Newmarket on Thursday after noticing she had not picked up her mail in four days, Newmarket Police Department Lt. Wayne Stevens said in a statement.
Upon entering the residence, officers discovered the victim, identified by WCVB as a woman in her 80s, trapped underneath a pile of items that had collapsed on top of her inside her bedroom.
The woman was taken to the hospital by Newmarket Fire and Rescue with hypothermia and dehydration, per Thursday’s statement. Police believe the victim was stuck on the floor for at least three days, if not longer.
“I just had a gut feeling and I just wanted to make sure [she was okay],” Berridge told WCVB. “When people pick up their mail every day, you start to notice their habits.”
Stevens told CNN that Berridge “without a doubt” saved the woman’s life.
“That’s part of being a letter carrier in a small town and taking your job to the next level,” Stevens told the outlet. “She did a great job.”
Berridge “was familiar” with the elderly resident, according to Thursday’s statement. The postal worker told CNN that she had conversations with the victim prior to the incident.
“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 Friday.
The victim was eventually found under items such as artwork and frames, CNN reports. Police believe the woman was buried under the items while attempting to use her bed for support.
Stevens lauded Berridge’s heroics in Thursday’s statement. “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,” the lieutenant said.
Berridge told CNN that despite some close calls, she never called in a wellness check on a customer prior to Thursday’s incident — and she was happy to help.
“Newmarket is a great little town,” Berridge told CNN. “Everyone has each other’s backs.”
Police did not provide an update on the unidentified victim’s current status.
This is one of those incidents when not minding your business and trusting your gut pays off!