NORWALK, Calif — A mail carrier on his route in Southern California came to the rescue of a 70-year-old man who accidentally cut his own arm with a chainsaw late last week, authorities said.
United States Postal Service mail carrier Fernando Garcia was wrapping up his shift in Norwalk when he heard a loud scream from a nearby house and rushed toward the home, KNBC-TV originally reported Monday.
Garcia told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it wasn't until he saw the man that he knew he needed to help and quickly fashioned his belt into a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
“I was fixing a part of the roof in the garage,” Miguel Cabral told The Associated Press. While working, he cut the upper part of his left arm about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) below the elbow. “I looked once and I knew it was bad so I told my sister to call the emergency.”
Cabral said he has two sisters, and both were home at the time. His 75-year-old sister has had throat cancer and is not able to speak very loudly, so he yelled out to his 60-year-old sister.
“My sister was going crazy and kept asking what to do,” he said. That's when Garcia walked into the backyard to find him lying in the grass on his back to slow the bleeding.
Garcia stayed with the man until an ambulance arrived. The Los Angeles County sheriff’s department posted on Twitter Friday from the Norwalk station that the man is expected to recover because of Garcia’s quick action.
“The minutes were very long. It seemed like the paramedics were never going to get there,” Cabral said, adding that he is extremely grateful Garcia was there to help. “I told him a million times, ‘Thank you.’ He is the real hero.”
Cabral said his gash is about 5 inches long and 3 inches wide, and he needed about 10 large stitches that were spread out across his arm.
“Doctors kept asking me and checking if I could move my fingers, and I could," so they decided surgery was not necessary, Cabral said.
Garcia said he sees the people in the community daily on his routes and he considers them an “extension” of his family.
“I'm glad I was able to help him out,” he said.