A caring and watchful mail carrier in Graham, North Carolina has been credited with saving the life of one of his customers who suffered a stroke. Michael “Mickey” Wheeley has been a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier for over two decades, and knows nearly everyone on his route. He told WGHP Fox 8, “We come in contact with them probably as much as our own family members.” So when Mick noticed one of the mailboxes on his route was full for several days with packages that included medication, he felt he had to do something. “I knew, that he must be in trouble having that much medicine and not been taking it,” said the observant postal worker.
Mick decided to check on the resident and explained to WFMY News 2, “I said, ‘Anybody home?’ and the man muttered to come in and when he came in uh he was in a recliner.” The man was a veteran and told Mick that he had been confined to the chair for two days because he recently had a stroke and his caretaker quit suddenly earlier that week. Mick said he appeared confused and disoriented. The mail carrier called his supervisor, Carole Eckstrom, who then called 911. While they waited, Mick offered to get the man food and he asked for, “Water and chicken nuggets. And I told him I’d get ‘em and oh, he, he sort of come teary eyed when that happened. Yeah, really. He was, he was wanting something to eat. I’m sure anything would have been alright.”
Emergency services were quickly on the scene to take the stroke victim to the Durham VA hospital. Mick said, “He couldn’t move, he couldn’t move. If somebody hadn’t have checked on him he could have been in bad shape…Seemed like a nice man…I think he was glad somebody came.” He is still being treated and it is unclear when he will be released. Mick’s supervisor commended his actions and said, “Mickey very well could have saved his life just by getting there when he did. I told our carriers, ‘This is what we do, we are the contact for most people we serve.’ Mickey just demonstrated that, and we’re thrilled he was able to help.” But the humble hero stated, “He needed some help. We got him some help. But I don’t feel like I’ve done anything.” Mick is looking forward to seeing the man come home from the hospital and wants to keep his chicken nugget promise saying, “I still owe him some. But he never did tell me what kind of sauce he wanted though.”