When an 81-year-old Army veteran from North Carolina called 911 earlier this week, the operator was surprised to hear his reason for the call.
Clarence Blackmon had been discharged from a hospital and rehabilitation facility Fayetteville, N.C. after a year-long stay. Once he was released, he was left to fend for himself at his home without any food in the fridge or nearby family members to get him to a store.
“What I need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me some food because I need to eat something,” Blackmon said on the recorded 911 tape. “Whatever you can do to help. I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair.”
Marilyn Hinson was the dispatcher on the other end of the call, and proceeded to write down the list of groceries that Blackmon needed. He told Hinson he had money to pay her back if she was able to bring him groceries that included two bananas, a can of green beans, and his “absolute favorite” popcorn.
Shortly after, Hinson arrived with Fayetteville police officers and groceries in hand on Blackmon’s doorstep. Hinson even made the man some ham sandwiches during her visit. She says she went the extra mile for the elderly man because she knows the helpless feeling of hunger that Blackmon felt that day.
“He was hungry,” she told WTVD-TV. “I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”
Hinson’s kind words and jump to action made a huge impact on Blackmon. “It was like a little miracle ringing in my ear,” he said to WTVD-TV. “I thought, ‘Jesus, you’ve answered all those prayers.’”
Blackmon has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and says doctors told him he may only have another six months to live. “[The doctor] doesn’t know and I don’t know,” he stated. “Only God knows and I thank God I’m still here.”
Blackmon says he is in the process of obtaining a home health nurse to prevent situations like this, but was glad that Hinson was there to be his hero for the day.