MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP -- The words "mail carrier" and "life saver" usually don't go in the same sentence. But a postal worker in the Mount Carmel area is being credited with saving a woman's life.
John Kenenitz delivers mail to people in the Mount Carmel area just like he does almost every day. He's been doing this job since 2000, so he's pretty familiar with the people on his route. That's why on the morning of December 19th, he noticed something was unusual at the home of 83-year-old Helen Speshock in the village of Natalie. There was a lot of mail in her box, and five newspapers on her porch.
"Right away that struck a bell. I went up and tried the door. The screen door was locked. I knocked. I looked at the front of her house and her car was still there so right away I thought something may be wrong," Kenenitz said.
Kenenitz spoke to a neighbor who called 911. The mail carrier continued on his route, but stopped back to see what happened. He found out police broke a window to get into the house, and found Speshock alive but trapped between her bed and dresser.
"They figured it was about five days she was laying there," Kenenitz said.
Neighbor Stephanie Velazquez says this isn't even Kenenitz's normal route.
"He comes every other week I guess," Velazquez said.
Kenenitz is quick to give credit to his postmaster for teaching him what to do in situations like this. And as for being called a hero? He doesn't think he is one.
"I don't think I am. I just did what any other mailman would have done," Kenenitz said.
As for Valazquez, she says having an alert mail carrier makes her feel safer.
"To think that someone cares that much to call someone about their mail not being picked up when it normally is. Makes you feel like they care about you? Yeah, really safe," Velazquez said.
Newswatch 16 caught up with Helen Speshock's brother Monday. He says she is doing much better since the incident.
Just as that neighbor said, that isn't even John Kenenitz's normal route. He just fills in sometimes. Luckily, he was filling in on that particular day.