Columbia Memorial Health (1) Careers

Alert postman saves a life


Mail carrier notices health problem patron didn’t detect

CHATHAM – Good thing the postman knocks. Jim Meehan, a mail carrier for the village ended up saving a woman’s life recently just by delivering a package to her.

On January 12, Mr. Meehan knocked on Eileen Jackson door on High Street in Chatham so she could sign for a package. He said he noticed she was “a little out of it.”

“I have gone to her house before and have had her sign for packages before in a sleepy state, but that was when she worked an overnight shift…. This time I sensed it was a little different,” Mr. Meehan wrote in an email to the Columbia Paper, after the incident came to light.

When he asked whether she was all right, she said something about having low blood sugar. He then asked if he could call an ambulance for her. She said no, eventually closing the door in his face.

“I knew I should not heed her wishes, so I went to report the incident to [Chatham Police Chief] Kevin Boehme and told him about it. He said you can’t force a person to take an ambulance but he would go up and check on her,” wrote Mr. Meehan.

As Mr. Meehan finished his deliveries he heard a siren and assumed that an ambulance was coming for Ms. Jackson. He was right. Chief Boehme went to her house on Mr. Meehan’s recommendation and called for help.

“He basically saved my life,” said Ms. Jackson in a phone interview, referring to Mr. Meehan. She said she is feeling fine now.

Mr. Meehan said that because of her stay at the hospital she found had more health issues than she knew. “I told her I knew her and sensed that things were just not right. In our business we get a connection with the people we serve and know them, just like they know us,” he said.

Chief Boehme echoed Ms. Jackson’s statement that Mr. Meehan saved Ms. Jackson’s life. He encourages villagers to contact the police if they notice anything strange going on with their neighbors, as Mr. Meehan did.

He said of having the police check on someone they think might be in distress,” it’s easier for the police to apologize for interrupting their life than to have to notify a parent or family members that something tragic has happened.”

Mr. Meehan, 53, has been with the Postal Service for over 15 years, mostly as a city carrier. He has also served as chief of the Chatham Fire Department, but he said he has no medical training.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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