CEDARBURG, Wis. — A mail carrier was overwhelmed when he received a special delivery.
Tony Salva loves his job as a mail carrier in Cedarburg.
"You just always care about the people that you service every day, that's just who I am," said Tony Salva.
On Thursday morning, Salva showed up to work as usual at the United States Postal Service's Cedarburg facility. But before he could leave, he got a surprise visit from the Ozaukee County Sheriff and an actual token of appreciation.
"On behalf of the Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office, I commend the actions of rural carrier Anthony Salva for his care and compassion for a fellow citizen," Sheriff Jim Johnson said before a crowd of Salva's coworkers.
"It's not often that the love for our job and the fabric of our character collide in such an eloquent moment, and I'm just happy to share it with all of you," Salva said as he got emotional.
In late March, Salva saw mail piling up at the home of an elderly man on his route.
"It was just something that I noticed. Just knowing, Bud and the kind of man that he is, and how regular and scheduled he is, I knew that he needed immediate attention. I just could feel it," said Salva.
Salva notified a supervisor and requested a welfare check. Deputy Brian Ronan responded to the home. At the same time, the resident's caregiver arrived with a key. Ronan found the elderly man had fallen inside his home.
"He was kind of delirious and he had been there for a few days and wasn't making a whole lot of sense," said Ronan. "I do not think that he would be alive today if it weren't for his (Salva's) help."
There is something to be said about following your instincts. In this case, Salva was grateful that he did.
He remembered getting an update from a supervisor.
"I got an emotional phone call from Amber that day to tell me his condition and that I had saved his life. The rest of the day was just a blur," Salva said. "I'm just glad that he's okay. That's what matters to me more than anything."
Bud is out of the hospital and doing okay.
Tony has not had a chance to see him yet, but said he is looking forward to that day.