Postal employee notices mail piling up at a home, saves elderly woman’s life

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 usual 9-mile route in New Market during her shift on January 27 when she noticed one resident had not picked up her mail in four days. The woman’s car was still parked in the drive as well.

Kayla Berridge

The USPS worker said she would sometimes chat with the woman in her 80s and started to become concerned when her post was left untouched. She also hadn’t seen her in a while.

The postal employee felt that she ought to request a wellness check on the home, so she notified the postmaster, who called for a welfare check by Newmarket police.

“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 United States Postal Service in Newmarket, New Hampshire

It proved to be the right call as the Newmarket Police Department found the woman trapped on the floor of her bedroom. Officers say she had been there for at least 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 faintly hear the woman yelling for help as he knocked on the door. He pulled up to the residence with another officer who had visited her before, and they managed to gain access to the home.

Once inside, they found the woman on her bedroom floor under various items, including frames and artwork. The responding officers believe she had tried to grab her bed for support, but the objects crashed down on her.

Kayla Berridge, the postal worker who helped save an elderly woman's life

She was taken to Exeter Hospital and diagnosed with dehydration and hypothermia. Thankfully, her family informed the police she was stable and recovering well.

Kayla has never had to call for a wellness check in her four years as a mail carrier. She said the signs she looks for are mail piling up, no outgoing mail, or a car parked in the driveway constantly.

“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.

Lt. Wayne Stevens, the first officer who arrived at the elderly woman's home

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 through her actions, but for her, the moral of the story is simple.

“And that’s why it’s important to pick up your mail,” she said.

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