MOUNT VERNON — Delivering the Mount Vernon News is a routine assignment: Newspapers are delivered to the carrier who then trudges up and down their route dropping off the paper’s latest edition. But recently that routine delivery turned into a rescue.
Doris Jacobs, Mount Vernon, who will turn 89 next month, opened the door from her kitchen to her garage on Friday, Oct. 12, at approximately 9 p.m. There are only two steps down to the concrete floor, but Jacobs said she often eases down them backward. That night, it was not an ordinary trip.
“I either missed the whole step, or part of the step, and lost my balance,” she said. “I fell and came down in front of the car. I hit the floor sitting down.”
She thought she was fine because she didn’t feel any pain so she scooted her way over to the steps and thought she could crawl into the house.
“But I couldn’t get my knee up on the step,” she added, “I really wasn’t hurt and I didn’t cry.”
She tried to decide what to do and decided if she could get out the back door and call toward her neighbor’s house, perhaps they would hear her. It took some effort. She had to find a wire and use it to unhook the patio door. She managed, and then she yelled several times before she realized it was the weekend and her neighbors were probably out of town.
Back in the garage, Jacobs tried to think through her situation. She spent the entire night trying to think of what to do; it kept her awake all night.
It occurred to her that she could expect an early morning newspaper delivery but that paper would be delivered by car, so they wouldn’t hear her.
“My last resort,” she said, “was the Mount Vernon News boy.”
She knew the approximate time he came and she could see her kitchen clock from where she lay, so she waited and watched. Her house was built in 1953 and she said the garage was not well-sealed so she had every hope that he would hear her if only she called out at the right time.
When the time came, she said she cried out, “I’m in the garage. I’m hurt and I need help.”
Newspaper delivery seems to be a Wall family tradition. Jacobs said she’s seen a few of the children in the family delivery her papers. Though her route currently is delivered by Joshua Wall, it was Zack who was delivering the papers that day.
Nora and Desmond Wall have five children: Zachary, 21; Naomi, 19; Joshua, 17; Lydia, 16; and Bradon, 14. Currently both Josh and Bradon have routes but they were on a Boy Scout camp-out that weekend; and Zack, who did the route for four years when he was younger, was working both of their routes.
A quirk of fate or serendipity made that very fortunate for Jacobs. When Wall arrived at Jacobs’ house to drop off the paper he said, “I heard a sound that could have been a cat crying.”
Anyone else might have dismissed the sound, but years before Wall had come to the rescue of an elderly woman who lived on the same street and had also fallen. So, he decided to pause and listen some more.
“I waited and then I heard a definite call for help,” he stated.
He looked in the window of the garage and saw Jacobs lying on the floor. He knocked on the glass and asked if she was okay and she told him no, but the front door was unlocked.
Wall walked through the house to the garage to Jacobs and she told him she’d been there all night.
“I had a Life Alert necklace,” she stated, “but I had gone to the grocery store earlier and the necklace only works at home so I had taken it off and forgot to put it back on.”
Wall pressed the alert button on the control box and the Mount Vernon Fire Department arrived a short time later. He said he asked if she wanted a drink or a blanket while they waited but she said she was fine.
Jacobs was in the hospital from Saturday to Monday. The hospital staff told her it was surprising that X-rays revealed no broken bones. “You are bruised,” she was told, “You have no idea how lucky you are.”
“I’m a little overweight,” she said laughing, “maybe in this case it’s a good thing.” She thinks it may have cushioned her fall. Still, she is only this week being released from physical and occupational therapy.
“They’re getting me so strong. I’ll really hit the golf ball next summer,” she said.
She wasn’t joking. She’s been golfing since 1958. In 2010, the News reported that Jacobs “has been going strong since John F. Kennedy was in the White House,” and since 961, she has competed in the annual Knox County Women’s Golf Tournament. She loves football too, but she just watches it.
Wall is an active young man. He is a Life Boy Scout and graduated from Mount Vernon High School. He originally attended Ohio Christian University in Circleville but is currently taking classes online with Liberty University, studying business administration.
He has a number of aspirations. He would like to open a music cafe and would like to publish his own magazine. Currently, he is consulting local business chief executive officers and speaking with prospective investors for a unique online dating service concept he may launch.
Contact Rhonda BletnerEmail
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