SLOAN, Iowa | Mary Jane Bromander had been lying on the hot, rocky driveway behind her house for about an hour. No one saw her. No one stopped by -- except Jeff Madsen, her mail carrier.
Madsen was delivering the 76-year-old woman’s mail on Tuesday and he was about to drive away when he saw something moving out of the corner of his eye.
It was Bromander, waving a hand for help.
“If I hadn’t seen her, I’m afraid of what might have happened,” Madsen said Friday.
It was 101 degrees outside.
He found Bromander on the ground by her vehicle in the backyard. She had been leaving for aquatic therapy in Sioux City but passed out and couldn’t get up.
“Lying back there, in the backyard -- nobody saw me,” she said Friday.
Bromander's house, in the 13000 block of 140th Street in Sloan, is surrounded by farm fields. It's likely no one would have found her.
Madsen, 60, has been a rural mail carrier for 23 years and he’s seen some strange things, but never anything like this.
“I was very grateful to be in the right place at the right time,” he said. “I’m glad I saw her.”
He propped her up in a sitting position and gave her water to drink. Madsen found another nearby man to help Bromander to her feet, but she was too weak to stand.
The ambulance took her to Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City.
“In that heat, I don’t know how much longer I could have survived,” Bromander said.
At the hospital, she said, she had a temperature of 104 degrees, an early sign of heat stroke.
Bromander said her letter carrier saved her life. Madsen said, “I just did what anyone else would have done.”