If it weren't for a substitute letter carrier who noticed something didn't seem right, Jim Dodds might not have been around Tuesday night.
Last September 13, the 88-year-old was lying on the floor of his house when Dee Korvela delivered the mail.
She was a part-time carrier filling in on his route in North Minneapolis.
“And I know Meals on Wheels when I see it,” she said. “When I went up to the door, I looked inside the bag, and inside the bag there was a spider, so that told me the bag had been sitting there for some time.”
Korvela ran for help and called 911. Judging by the mail left in the mailbox, she said Dodds hadn't collected his mail for a week.
“Well, I remember getting into an ambulance,” Dodds said. “They were a little bit rough.”
Dodds doesn't remember any of it. He fell and tried to crawl into another room and badly cut his knees. He lives by himself and the daughter who normally would check on him was out of town.
“I thought there were all kinds of systems in place to catch something like this, if something happened,” his daughter, Pam O’Shea, said. “But every single one of them failed.”
Every system, that is, except the Postal Service. And Tuesday night, Dee Korvela’s union gave her an award for working “Above the Call of Duty.”
“I'll be forever grateful for doing what she did,” Dodds said.
Korvela said, “Like I've told my friends, I don't want to take the whole glory in this. I give it to the Lord.”
Dodds suffers from arthritis and peripheral neuropathy. He said he has no idea how long he was lying there before he was found.
(Copyright 2007 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)