USPS mail carrier praised after quick-thinking likely saved 89-year-old woman’s life

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CHICAGO (NBC) – A United States Postal Service mail carrier is being praised for her actions after her observant eye and quick thinking very well may have saved the life of an elderly woman on her mail route.

Shonda Lemon, an eight-year veteran of the USPS, says she’s been delivering mail in Chicago’s Dunning neighborhood for four years. She’s developed close bonds with some of her customers, including an 89-year-old woman named Helen.

“The elders on my route are dear to my heart,” she said.

When Shonda noticed her 89-year-old friend, Helen, was not picking up her special rubber band bundles for easy grabbing for three days…. she began to worry and knocked on the door.

“Day after day she wasn’t getting the rubber band,” she said. “I knew there was something wrong.”

When no one responded, Lemon called 911 for a well-being check. Helen was found lying on the floor, having had no food or water for several days.

Helen’s niece Mary Mason got a call from authorities informing her what had happened to her aunt.

“I feared the worse,” Mason said. “She fell and she just laid there.”

Lemon says officers called her to tell her that Helen was alive, and while she was relieved, it was a very emotional moment.

“When I heard that, my heart trembled,” she said. “It made me cry.”

Mason immediately praised Lemon, saying that without her quick actions, her aunt may not have survived.

“I don’t think she would have lasted,” she said. “I don’t think it would’ve been a good outcome.”

Mason made it a point to meet Lemon, and on Wednesday she did, and the pair hugged and cried as they celebrated Helen’s health.

“I need to tell her thank you so much. She’s our angel,” Mason said. “She takes care of my aunt.”

Shonda , a mom herself, is being called a hero by her coworkers and others… But laughs we tell her.

“On being called a hero, hahaha yeah. I don’t look at self as a hero. Just look at myself as one of God’s children looking after his other kids. That was my blessing for the day. That she was ok.”

Now, Helen is in rehab, building up her strength, and according to Mason, is ecstatic that the news is airing the story of her guardian angel.

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