HOPE HULL, AL -- An injured Alabama man scooted around the floor of his home, drank rainwater from a bucket and prodded ice from his freezer with a stick to survive for 10 days until his mail carrier found him.
Tommy Hope, 66, broke his arm and injured his leg and hip when he fell inside his Hope Hull home July 4, WSFA-TV reported.
Cissy Cartwright, who has delivered mail in the area for more than 20 years, decided to look in on Hope after noticing he hadn't checked his mail in several days.
She found him, hurt and dehydrated, on the floor of his home and learned he'd been there more than a week. She called 911 and waited with him until an ambulance arrived.
"I was in shock, but I was just so relieved that, when I did yell for him, he answered me. I'm just glad I found him when I did," Cartwright said.
Hope does not have immediate family nearby and couldn't get to his phone to make any calls. But he managed to scoot on his back to the front door, where he drank from a bucket of rainwater that he keeps for his truck that sometimes overheats. He also maneuvered into his kitchen and used a stick to get ice, concentrated juices and frozen blackberries from his freezer.
Hope, who had surgery to repair the broken bones in his arm, is recovering in the hospital and will spend several weeks in a rehabilitation facility.
"He has to be a strong man, because to do some of the things he did to survive, it was just amazing to me," Cartwright said. "He calls me his hero, and if that's what he wants to say, I'm good with it. But I don't feel like a hero. I was just at the right place at the right time."