Clarence Blackmon, an 81-year-old Army veteran, returned to his North Carolina apartment after battling prostate cancer to find his cupboards bare and his stomach rumbling. "The grocery store wouldn't deliver without a deposit and I couldn't make it there," he tells the Huffington Post. So he picked up the phone and called 911. "What I need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me some food because I need to eat something," he said on the call Tuesday, per the Washington Post. "I can't do anything. I can't go anywhere. I can't get out of my damn chair." Rather than scoff, dispatcher Marilyn Hinson listened patiently as Blackmon listed his requests, including cabbage, avocado, two bananas, three bottles of Pepsi, ham, potato salad, green beans, tomato juice, and popcorn, and assured he would pay her back.
"He was hungry," Hinson tells WTVD. "I've been hungry. A lot of people can't say that, but I can, and I can't stand for anyone to be hungry." The dispatcher personally picked up and delivered the food to Blackmon, who "was barely 115 pounds," according to an accompanying officer. Hinson even made him some ham sandwiches. "It was like a little miracle ringing in my ear," he says. But that was only the first delivery. As news of his predicament spread, donations flooded in. "They keep bringing it in by the armloads," he tells ABC News. "My cupboards are full. I've never had such prosperity." In fact, there's so much food, he's sharing his haul with a food bank. A home nurse will now check on the veteran twice a week to ensure he has all he needs. A doctor told Blackmon he has just six months to live, "but he doesn't know and I don't know," the veteran says. "Only God knows and I thank God I'm still here."