Mail carrier saves resident

Letter carriers might not be considered heroes, but to the family of Dorothy Tannenbaum, one is.

Tannenbaum, a resident of Ohio Avenue, had fallen on steps in her garage while putting groceries in her house last month. After lying injured in the garage for 23 hours, Tannenbaum’s mail carrier, Chris Johnson, finally heard her pleas for help and quickly got help.

“He saved her life. He’s a hero,” said Bonnie Kissell, Tannenbaum’s daughter-in-law. “She was hallucinating and going downhill fast.”

Johnson, who has served as the regular mail carrier for nine years on Tannenbaum’s route, said he knew something wasn’t right when he noticed Tannenbaum’s newspaper still in her mailbox.

Upon walking closer to the house, Johnson said he heard someone yelling. After first passing it off as kids on a nearby school bus, Johnson then turned around and went back to the residence.

“I hit the garage door and she really started to yell (for help),” he said.

Because the doors were locked, Johnson was unable to enter the garage or residence. He then called the post office, which in turn called 911.

A door was broken by first responders and Tannenbaum was transported to the hospital, Kissell said.

Tannenbaum, 86, did not suffer any broken bones from the fall, but her kidneys had begun to fail from lying in the garage for so long, Kissell said.

“They said she couldn’t have gone much longer,” she said.

Johnson said noticing that something wasn’t quite right that day was just part of his job. He said the post office trains its carriers to be aware of their route and to notice anything strange.

“It felt good … that I had possibly saved somebody,” he said.