A Central Alberta Life newspaper carrier is being hailed for rescuing an elderly woman who suffered some frostbite after ending up outside her home wearing only a nightgown early Monday morning.
Julie Hrycyk came across the woman while delivering Red Deer Advocate newspapers for another carrier.
Hrycyk was driving in the residential area across the river and near Hwy 53. The route had few deliveries there, but as she got close to a house on 43rd Street, she noticed a woman on the sidewalk. The woman was seated and was just wearing a nightgown. The temperatures had dipped to the -17 to -20C range.
The woman had a pillowcase over her feet, said Hrycyk.
“I stopped to see if she needed any help and she wasn’t very coherent,” said Hrycyk. “She was confused. I don’t know how long she had been there for.”
Hrycyk said the woman told her that she needed to get home.
A door was open at the house directly behind the woman but she said it wasn’t her home.
Hrycyk called and ambulance at 5:40 a.m. and again at 5:55 a.m. Five minutes later, the ambulance arrived. While they waited, Hrycyk unzipped her jacket and held the senior close to her.
“It was very cold and I was bundled up,” she said. “I’m now putting a sleeping bag in my van, just in case I come across somebody again.”
The senior’s daughter, who didn’t want her name used, called Hrycyk to thank her for what she had done. She said early Monday afternoon that her mother was recovering at Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre. Medical staff indicated the 84-year-old woman has some frostbite to her feet.
The woman said they are not sure how her mother would have ended up outside and that she does not have dementia issues.