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Elkhart man looking for woman who saved him from snowbank

An Elkhart man is trying to find the woman who pulled him out of a snowbank last month after he collapsed due to medical issues.

Posted on April 12, 2014 at 10:56 a.m.

ELKHART — William Mellen is looking for an angel.

More specifically, he's looking for a brunette teacher from Concord South Side Elementary who helped pull him out of a snowbank last month.

Mellen, 90, walked down to his mailbox in the 23000 block of Arlene Avenue on March 19 to get his newspaper and mail. Standing at the end of his driveway, he collapsed onto a snowbank.

"I didn't slip or trip, I just collapsed," Mellen said.

Lying on the snowbank, he tried three or four times to stand but couldn't get up. 

School had just let out at the elementary school just down the road and a steady stream of cars and school buses passed Mellen as he lay in the snow.

"I was waving the paper in my hand," he said. He cried out for help and kept waving the paper, but no one stopped to help.

After 40 minutes on the snowbank, the melting snow had soaked through Mellen's jacket and shirt. 

"It was one of the warmest days we'd had," he said. "If it had been one of those freezing days, I would've been a goner."

Finally, a blue Ford Explorer pulled into Mellen's driveway. A woman got out and told him she was going to help him up.

"I told her, 'I don't think you can,'" he said. "Women are stronger than you think."

She helped him into the back of the SUV, called 911 and waited with Mellen until the ambulance arrived. She told him her name and which grade she taught at South Side, but Mellen can't remember.

"She was like an angel to me," he said. "I can't tell you how joyful it felt to see someone cared."

Doctors weren't able to pinpoint exactly what caused Mellen's collapse. He said he had low blood sugar, a touch of pnemonia and kidney failure. His pacemaker was also due for a replacement.

"I'm 90, so I'm falling apart," he said. 

After nine days at Elkhart General Hospital, Mellen was transferred to Hubbard Hill, where he's undergoing physical and occupational therapy. 

He hopes to be back in his own home by Easter.

He's also hoping to find the woman who helped him.

Mellen's daughter Mary Beth Wilmore has tried to find her without much luck.

"We're so thankful," she said.

She contacted the school but no one came forward. 

They are asking the woman, or anyone who knows who she may be, to contact Wilmore at 574-875-1425.

"I wish I could do for her what she did for me," Mellen said.




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