Letter carrier Cissy Cartwright says she's no hero, but 66-year-old Tommy Hope begs to differ. The Hope Hull, Ala., man was stuck on the floor of his rural home for 10 days after falling and breaking several bones on July 4, NBC News reports. He probably would have died there if Cartwright, who has been delivering mail in the area for more than 20 years, hadn't noticed his mail starting to pile up and decided to go up his long driveway to investigate, reports WSFA. When she went to his front door to call for him, he called back for help. Hope had been unable to stand up to reach a phone, though he had been able to stay alive by drinking rainwater from a bucket outside the front door.
Hope, who was treated for dehydration, is now recovering in the hospital and has been visited several times by Cartwright, who says that it's amazing he was able to survive and that she's glad she was in the right place at the right time. "Our carriers are not just delivering mail every day and they're not just delivering packages every day. They're delivering service every day," Postmaster Sherry Hughes tells WSFA, adding that letter carriers are the "eyes and ears" of the community. Letter carriers who have heard this story are "thinking that if it saved one person's life, it can save a lot more if we're all just dedicated in watching and looking out for our elderly and for anything unusual that might be happening," she says. (A baby in South Carolina was saved from choking by a letter carrier.)