by Ashley Flynn
For 28 years, five days a week, Bryan Banister has been delivering mail to Wabash citizens. Banister faces rain, summer heat and snow during his routes, and sometimes he even saves a life.
Pat Fetter moved into Meadowbrook approximately five years ago along a route that Banister has delivered for 10 years. The two had conversations on a regular basis, and Fetter knows just when mail is delivered – right after 11 a.m.
On Sept. 29, 2012, Fetter had extreme stomach pains so he came home to lie down. Shortly after, two stomach ulcers burst, and Fetter was losing blood quickly. His legs went numb, and he was unable to move, but he knew mail should be delivered soon.
Hopeful that Banister was close, Fetter yelled for help. Banister had just passed Fetter’s apartment and was a few doors down, but he could hear someone calling out to him. At first he thought it was his imagination, but he walked back towards Fetter’s apartment and knocked on the door.
“Pat? Are you in there?” Banister called through the screen door.
Fetter replied that he needed help, and Banister walked in.
Banister called for an ambulance, informed Meadowbrook’s manager of the situation, and told a neighbor who came to be with Fetter.
“I thought Pat was going to bleed to death, and I knew he definitely needed help fast,” Banister told The Paper of Wabash. “I wanted to make sure he got what he needed.”
Fetter spent four days in the hospital and had seven pints of blood transfused into him.
“Parkview Hospital didn’t think I would make it out of there. They called my family in to be with me,” Fetter said.
Fetter credits Banister for saving his life that day.
“If he wasn’t walking by, I don’t think anyone would have called,” he said. “I just think it’s cool that he was looking out for someone. I just want to recognize him and the post office and give them a big thank you.”
Banister’s co-workers describe him as a people-person who loves to talk to his customers. He admits that his favorite part of the job is interacting with customers, and he was glad to see Fetter back from the hospital.
Banister has only had to contact emergency personnel on one other occasion when a woman kept falling over and hitting her head.
Fetter and Banister still talk on a regular basis, but Banister is up for retirement whenever he chooses to take it. He says he plans on working another two or three years.