DIXON – It was dawn, and Patricia Kreps wanted to take a bag of trash to her rollout garbage container.
It was cold that Dec. 28, but she didn’t bother to put on a coat because it would be only a few steps outside her side door.
As she stepped off the door ledge, the 59-year-old fell face down on the concrete. She wiggled back toward the door, but she couldn’t get up to open it.
“I was crying and screaming,” Kreps recalled. “I was hurt so bad that I couldn’t get up.”
No one came to her rescue. She suspected most of her neighbors in the 500 block of East Eighth Street were still sleeping that early Saturday morning.
One person, however, makes the rounds every morning in her neighborhood – Fred Rogers, who delivers the Telegraph.
“My saving grace was that Fred hadn’t delivered the paper yet,” said Kreps, a production operator at BorgWarner.
About 30 minutes after Kreps fell, Rogers came by. She heard him walking before she saw him. She shouted for help.
Rogers, who couldn’t get her in the house by himself, called 911. A few minutes later, a Dixon Rural Fire Department ambulance took her to the hospital.
Doctors informed Kreps that she had broken her left ankle, which she had sprained a year before. Kreps, who had surgery on her ankle Jan. 9, is now on short-term disability from work.
“I think I’d be dead if Fred didn’t come by when he did,” she said. “He’s my hero.”
Rogers said he happened to walk by at the right time.
“She had been on the concrete for at least a half hour,” said Rogers, who delivers 170 newspapers on foot on the east and west sides of town. “It’s not a really busy street. It would be lucky if the neighbors came down and found her.”