Something didn't seem right to Douglas MacRae. The New Jersey newspaper carrier, who had only seen 85-year-old Olive Blaison once in the eight years he had delivered the New Jersey Herald to her, was concerned at the papers piling up outside her Sparta home, the lack of footprints in the snow, and a light in the back of the house that had been on for days, the Herald reports. He stopped by the police station after his Friday rounds and asked them to check up on her, which turned out to be the right call—Blaison had apparently suffered a heart attack, fallen, and had been lying on the floor for a couple of days, Debbie Henley, Blaison's niece, tells the Herald. Henley says if not for MacRae's intervention, Blaison may not have been discovered until Saturday, when the two women were scheduled to go shopping. "Who knows what would have happened," Henley says.
Sparta police who arrived at the house were able to talk to Blaison through the back door, which they then busted down to rescue her, per the Herald. She was taken to a local hospital, where it was found she suffered no serious injuries. She's just there for now to recuperate and get her strength back, according to her niece; she started physical therapy Monday. "She's quite feisty," Henley says. When MacRae found out what had happened, he was "overwhelmed," he tells the Herald. "In the middle of the night not a lot happens, but when it does, quite often we're the only ones out there," he says. Henley, who reveals the family plans on putting together a thank you for MacRae, notes that her aunt will be moving in with them so she doesn't have to live alone anymore. (Meanwhile, this mailman walked right past a dead body to make his delivery.)