Downers Grove postal worker helps save woman’s life after noticing mail piling up for days

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WLS) — An observant postal worker is being praised for potentially saving a woman’s life.

She took action when she noticed the mail piling up at an address.

It turns out, the woman who the mailbox belonged to was in need of help.

Kim Gillis has been walking her Downers Grove mail route for around seven years now. Two weeks ago, she walked up to one of her elderly customers’ homes and saw something unusual.

“She had a couple of days worth of mail in the box. And then when I looked down, I saw a couple of newspapers, so then I got alarmed,” Gillis said.

Gillis immediately alerted one of the woman’s next-door neighbors, who in turn alerted a second neighbor with a spare key.

“From the heart, I just knew something was wrong. I knew I had to let someone know that something was wrong,” Gillis said.

“I hadn’t used the key in, I don’t know how many years. It was a long time. I didn’t even know if it was going to work,” said neighbor Jean Esler.

Thankfully it did, because the woman, who is in her 90s, had fallen inside her bedroom.

“You could tell she had been there for a quite a while. She had a piece of her front tooth missing, so she’d obviously hit something and she was just lying there crying,” Esler described.

As it turns out, she’d been there for around four days.

Gillis is now being called a hero, but she says she just pays attention.


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