Gracious newspaper customer to carrier: 'You actually saved my life!'

Gracious newspaper customer to carrier: 'You actually saved my life!'

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - It was an ordinary day for delivery woman Debbie Brazell, who has delivered newspapers for The State for 35 years.

Her route starts at Cross Hill Road near Fort Jackson and she makes her way toward one Columbia street to deliver 440 newspapers to homes each morning, including 500 on Sundays.

Of the thousands of papers, she's delivered, she's never had to save someone's life - until now.

"Thank God, no," Brazell said. "I knew something was wrong."

On Monday, July 10 when Brazell noticed something was off at the home of 93-year-old Annie-Ruth Cooper. Her papers began stacking up.

"So I just went on and then Monday when I got back I saw Saturday and Sunday paper sitting there and I knew something was wrong," Brazell said.

Cooper says she's alive and thankful for her newspaper delivery service.

"You did, you actually saved my life,"  Cooper said.

"Something said go knock on the door, I said Ms. Cooper, it's Debbie is you in there? She said yes. I said are you alright? She said I fell," Brazell explained.

Cooper said she was on the ground helpless for 3 days. Her neck was blue and she was ice cold. Doctors say she was severely dehydrated. Now she's recovering at Life Care Center in Columbia.

On Monday, the two reunited at her rehabilitation center recalling that day.

"It was horrifying because I couldn't get in. It's like a child when your child is hurt and there's nothing you can do about it. That's how I felt," Brazell said. "She has bars on her house, double bolts on the back door and double bolts on the front door. It was horrifying not knowing, helpless, there was nothing I can do."

Brazell is taking care of Cooper's home while she recovers, but her route has definitely changed forever.  Brazell said she's starting to look after another customer who lives at home alone in case anyone else's papers began to stack up.

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