Local News

Mailman saves Cary man's life on Christmas Eve

Posted December 30, 2018 7:39 p.m. EST
Updated December 30, 2018 7:40 p.m. EST

When you have 32 years with the U.S. Postal Service, a Cary mail route can become routine.

But on Christmas Eve, Chris Petersen's Pamlico Avenue mail drop was anything but.

“I was about halfway to the street, and the woman of the house came, opened the door and called out, “Somebody help me; I think my husband is having a heart attack,’” Petersen said.

Petersen and two neighbors, Jason and Joanie Peterson, ran in to help. Inside, they found Mike Hodgin, who had collapsed on the floor while cooking.

“He had been doing the bacon,” Joanie Peterson said. “It was all still out, and he was out flat with his back on the floor.”

Hodgin wasn't breathing. Petersen began CPR.

“I immediately had to start doing chest compressions,” Petersen said. “I did that for I'm guessing approximately two minutes, at which time Mike took a big breath and opened his eyes. That was such a relief to see that.”

The Petersons said they couldn’t believe they witnessed their mailman saving a neighbor's life. After EMS arrived, they said Petersen went on to deliver the rest of the neighborhood's mail.

“It was like old school watching the cowboy,” Joanie Peterson said. “He put his mailbag on. He continues his route. He was like a cowboy into the sunset — like he just did what he had to do and he went on his way.”

Petersen said he had been running late before saving Hodgin’s life.

“I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and now the reason is quite apparent,” Petersen said. “I was running late because I was meant to be at that place at that time.”