The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Newspaper carrier rescues injured Edmonds woman

  • Catherine Joan Walsh (second from left) celebrated her 84th birthday with her family, including Kay Balenger (left), daughter Terry Walsh and granddau...

    Catherine Joan Walsh (second from left) celebrated her 84th birthday with her family, including Kay Balenger (left), daughter Terry Walsh and granddaughter Carrie Mercier.

  • Newspaper carrier Shirley Morales

    Newspaper carrier Shirley Morales

EDMONDS -- Shirley Morales made a wrong turn on her route when she saw in the flash of her headlights the woman in the ditch.
The Herald newspaper carrier was delivering papers with her 2-year-old about 5 a.m. Nov. 18. She didn't know what to think until she heard the cries for help.
The woman was an 84-year-old who had wandered from her home late at night, tripped in the drainage ditch and broke her ankle, hip and arm. Morales grabbed the two blankets she kept in the car for her son, Damian, whom she calls her "little carrier," and wrapped them around the woman.
"I was scared to move her, but I wanted her to keep warm. It was raining and she had just socks and a regular jacket," Morales said. "She was trembling."
Morales called her boyfriend, Gilberto Vera Lopez, who was delivering papers on a nearby route. He arrived and the Lynnwood couple called 911 and waited for the ambulance to arrive 11 minutes later.
Their actions helped save Catherine Joan Walsh, who was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Walsh was transferred Monday to a rehab facility in Edmonds.
"It was a Sunday. If it wasn't for the newspaper carrier, God knows what would have happened," said Pat Upton, Walsh's daughter. "We are grateful that there are still people out there who will stop and do something to help someone else."
After taking a wrong turn that morning, Morales decided to begin her route in the neighborhood she usually visits last when she found Walsh in the ditch.
Walsh was disoriented. She couldn't remember what she was doing or how long she'd been outside, but told Morales that her arm and leg were broken.
Walsh couldn't remember where she lived, but Morales told police that she knew an elderly woman lived a few houses down.
Though the two had never met, Morales left Walsh's newspaper on the windowsill so that she wouldn't have to walk out into the driveway to reach it.
"Mom had a guardian angel that night," Upton said.
At Harborview, doctors said that if Walsh had been out there much longer that she would have been at risk for shock or hypothermia.
"Those blankets helped a lot. The trauma nurse at Harborview said mom wasn't very cold, at least not as cold as he thought she'd be," said Terry Walsh, 54, another Walsh daughter. "Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers."
Walsh lives alone and was mentally sound before the accident, Upton said. But she was taking an antibiotic that doctors said could have contributed to her confusion.
Her daughters are hopeful that she will fully recover.
Walsh's daughters have been in touch with the carriers who saved their mom. So far, they have only spoken on the phone, but look forward to meeting one another when Walsh recovers.
"She made that wrong turn so she could find my mother," Upton said.

Reporter Alejandro Dominguez contributed to this story.

Ashley Stewart: 425-339-3037; astewart@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » Edmonds

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

Musical hits 'Heights'
Musical hits 'Heights': Village stages Tony award-winner in Everett
Better with age
Better with age: 112-year-old Marysville home has housed many stories
Under your skin
Under your skin: 'Nightcrawler' is both satire and fascinating character study
Throw out the can
Throw out the can: Straight-from-the-pumpkin pie is easy to make
SnoCoSocial