Chicago USPS Worker Saves 89-Year-Old Woman’s Life After Noticing She Hadn’t Retrieved Her Mail in 3 Days


February 12, 2021

Ordinary citizens are doing extraordinary things!

A Chicago USPS worker saved an 89-year-old woman’s life after noticing she hadn’t retrieved her mail in 3 days, Blavity reports. 


Shonda Lemon has been delivering mail to Helen Iwanski for the past four years. Through everyday conversations, Lemon learned that the older woman lived alone, didn’t have any children, and hadn’t traveled in years. When Lemon noticed Iwanski had left her mail on the porch for three days, her instincts kicked in, and she called the police to complete a welfare check. When officers arrived, they discovered Iwanski had been lying on the floor for days after falling in her home. It was Lemon’s call that had potentially saved her life. 

“We gained a nice, little, personal relationship with one another. Those factors alone is what triggered me to know that there was something wrong, especially when she left her parcels on the porch overnight…I began to cry because it was a rejoicing moment for me, knowing that I had assisted…in sparing her life. And, ya know, it was just the pain and thought of what she may have been going through for those three days on the floor,” Lemon told reporters.

Iwanski is now recovering in the hospital, and her family is sending their immense gratitude to Lemon for her quick thinking.


“[She] is one of God’s children, and she was looking out for another one of his kids. My aunt sends her love and appreciation to Shonda for being there for her. She said she will be forever grateful for Shonda caring enough to call the police. My family continues to pray for Shonda and want nothing but the best for her always,” Mary Mason, Iwanski’s niece, said. 

Lemon said she just did what she would want someone to do for her and hopes that people realize the importance of a community helping one another.

“At the end of the day, we’re a village, and we need each other to look out for one another. This is more than a job for me. It’s more of a community, it’s more of a village, and I’m just thankful that I paid attention to these circumstances and was able to spare this woman’s life,” said Lemon.


This isn’t the first time that postal workers have put on their capes and saved the day. In 2019, a California letter carrier found two missing children within two weeks of each other, eventually receiving honors for her bravery. 

USPS spokesperson Tim Norman spoke about the heroism of their employees, saying, “Postal Service employees know the habits of their customers and the rhythms of their communities, and are often the first to notify emergency personnel and render aid when something is wrong. Employees have been commended for going above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of situations, such as assisting lost children, getting help for sick or injured customers, spotting fires, and more.”

Thank you for your work, Shonda! Because of you, we can!


Photo Courtesy of Fox5 DC

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content