Although some people like to be kept on their toes, others prefer predictable routines when it comes to work. Marco Perea can presumably relate to the latter, as he plies his trade day in, day out as a delivery man in California. However, while completing his normal route in April 2019, something totally out of the ordinary occurred. Perea in fact heard a faint noise emanating from an apartment, and he realized that one of his regular customers urgently needed his help.
For years, home delivery services have proved incredibly useful, allowing customers to receive a variety of different items right on their doorsteps. Given how advanced the systems are now, it’s sometimes easy to forget that certain companies had been distributing products long before online orders blew up. And Palomar Mountain Spring Water is one such business.
Located in San Diego, California, Palomar Mountain Spring Water is a company specializing in the production of pure water that comes from the springs of its titular peak. And the origin of the business is certainly intriguing. Indeed, it all started rather unexpectedly some time ago thanks to a group of locals.
“Many years ago, the residents of Palomar Mountain purchased 160 acres of land on Palomar Mountain, Southern California,” reads a statement on Palomar Mountain Spring Water’s About page. “This land had springs with the purest of nature’s wonders: natural spring water.” And at this point, the citizens made a big decision.
“In March of 1985 [the mountain residents] established Palomar Mountain Spring Water and developed a water delivery system to bring this 100 percent natural drinking water to the homes and businesses of San Diego County,” the statement continues. “This system was so unique that the public response was overwhelmingly positive.”
On that note, Palomar Mountain Spring Water revealed some more details about its delivery system. “Palomar Water could deliver pure spring water from the top of the mountain directly into a 60-gallon reservoir for residential and commercial use,” reads the statement on the website. As the 1980s came to an end, though, the company made a significant deal.
The statement adds, “In 1989 two business associates formed a partnership and started a bottling line, making 16 ounce to 2.5-gallon bottles of the Palomar spring water available to merchants and chain stores throughout San Diego County.” However, the company faced some big changes more than 15 years later.
During the summer of 2005, a man named Eric de Jong bought Palomar Mountain Spring Water. In addition to purchasing the business, De Jong also took over the distribution center at that time. And yet despite all this upheaval, some fundamental aspects within the company remained the same.
“Eric has made efficiency improvements and expanded the suite of waters to include – amongst others – sparkling water and flavored water,” reads the statement on the Palomar Mountain Spring Water site. “And he made Palomar Mountain Premium Spring Water available to restaurants.” Plus, the company also detailed one of its surviving features.
“[De Jong] did not change the bottling process, which has continued to be the success of Palomar Mountain Spring Water,” the statement continues. “Today, Palomar Mountain Premium Spring Water is delivered to homes, offices and restaurants.” And of course, the company has a team of delivery guys to transport its water to all of these places.
Marco Perea is one of these workers, dropping off Palomar water to houses in the California area. Due to his job, the 25-year-old presumably comes into contact with a lot of people each day. And he’s been able to build up an especially close rapport with one of his customers in particular. The patron in question is an elderly lady by the name of Barbara White-Minischi.
A resident of Escondido, California, White-Minischi resides alone in an apartment building, with Perea delivering her water every fortnight. And the pair have subsequently developed a humorous way of greeting each other. Perea usually says, “This is Marco!” upon his arrival at the elderly woman’s home. From there, White-Minischi responds, “Polo!”
However, during one of Perea’s ordinary shifts in April 2019, this playful routine came to a sudden stop. The delivery man arrived in Escondido as per normal ready to drop off the water at White-Minischi’s apartment. But when he made his signature announcement at her door that day, he received no response.
A few moments later, Perea heard a strange, faint noise on the other side of the door. And understandably, the delivery man was left very concerned. “[White-Minischi] usually knows who I am,” the California resident told NBC 7 in April 2019. “She goes like, ‘Marco, Polo,’ you know? But then, I was like, ‘Something’s not right.’”
After receiving no response from White-Minisch, Perea decided that he needed to take action. “I’m like, ‘Just open the door and let me help you,’” he explained. “And [White-Minischi] said, ‘Where am I?’ you know? And I [said], ‘This is your house!’” As it turned out, White-Minischi had tumbled over in her apartment the previous day. And alarmingly, she had been unable to get back up.
“I was flopping around there like a dead fish,” White-Minischi told Inside Edition of her ordeal in April 2019. Then, she continued, “I could not get up. I could not go anywhere. I couldn’t open the door. I could not do a damn thing except lay there and hurt and scream.” Thankfully, though, help was on its way.
When Perea arrived to deliver the water, White-Minischi tried her best to grab his attention. “It was scary for this old lady,” she recalled to NBC 7. “When I heard his voice, I was laying on the floor. And I heard Marco’s voice, and I said, ‘Marco, get in here!’” However, there was one problem.
You see, White-Minischi’s front door was still locked, leaving Perea in a difficult position. The delivery man subseqeuently went in search of some assistance, hoping to find someone who could help get inside the elderly lady’s apartment. Unfortunately, however, nobody could breach the lock. And so, Perea was left with no choice but to contact the emergency services.
With the authorities now on the way, Perea continued to speak to White-Minischi from outside her home. “The first thing she asked for was water,” he recalled to NBC 7. “We were talking, and she was on [the other side of] the door. She was like, ‘Well, I want some small bottles.’ And I’m like, ‘Don’t worry about that; let’s just worry about you!’”
Before long, members of the local fire service arrived at the building ready to open the locked door. But when they eventually got inside White-Minischi’s home, Perea noticed the old woman’s condition. “She was on the ground as we were walking up, and she was shaking,” he said. “She was probably all day and all night on the ground.”
From there, White-Minischi was picked up and led out of her apartment, with the emergency services preparing to take her to the hospital. Before that, though, the Escondido resident had caught sight of Perea. And the pair had shared one last exchange ahead of White-Minischi’s trip in the ambulance.
“I saw [White-Minischi] once they were taking her to the elevator,” Perea told NBC 7 in April 2019. “And she was like, ‘Is that Marco?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, Marco Polo!’” After these events had finished, the elderly woman spent the next two days at the hospital, recovering from her terrifying ordeal.
Due to a number of varying factors, older people are more prone to falling down than their younger counterparts. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released some startling figures on the subject back in 2016. And according to the CDC, the issue is fairly widespread.
“Every second of every day in the United States, an older adult falls, making falls the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans,” read a 2016 press release on the CDC website. “In 2014 alone older Americans experienced 29 million falls, causing 7 million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs.”
What’s more, the CDC explained why these statistics were coming to light at that particular time. “The new numbers are being released in conjunction with the ninth Falls Prevention Awareness Day, sponsored by the National Council on Aging (NCOA),” the press release continued. “The observance addresses the growing public health issue.”
“[It also] promotes evidence-based prevention programs and strategies to reduce the more than 27,000 fall deaths in older adults each year,” the press release added. In addition, the director of the CDC, Tom Frieden, weighed in with a bit more information and offered some encouraging words on the subject.
“Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” Frieden told the CDC website. “Healthcare providers can make fall prevention a routine part of care in their practice, and older adults can take steps to protect themselves.” Meanwhile, the agency had some plans of its own to help the elderly.
As more people in America are moving up in years, the CDC has made a very interesting move. “To reduce older adult falls, CDC created the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths and Injuries (STEADI) initiative,” read the press release on the website. “[This is] to help healthcare providers make fall prevention routine.”
What’s more, the CDC provided some reasons as to why certain elderly people may be more at risk of falling than others. And according to the medical agency, there are a variety of explanations behind the issue. Plus, the CDC revealed another eye-opening figure.
“Reduced muscle strength, increased inactivity, more severe chronic health conditions and increased use of prescription medications are risk factors for falls among older Americans,” the CDC press release continued. “Fall injury rates are almost seven times higher for older adults with poor health than for those with excellent health.”
Despite all this, however, there is some hope. Another CDC director named Grant Baldwin believes that there are steps that can be taken to improve elderly people’s lifestyles. “Falls threaten older Americans’ independence and safety and generate enormous economic and personal costs that affect everyone,” he said. “Together, everyone can reduce the risk of falling and prevent fall injuries.”
Meanwhile, the CDC have also offered some words of advice to elderly individuals, listing off some measures they can take to avoid slipping or tripping over. “Talk to your healthcare provider about falls and fall prevention,” is the CDC’s first point. “Tell your provider if you’ve had a recent fall.”
However, according to the CDC, around 50 percent of elderly people who suffer falls don’t inform their physicians. And the agency also suggested that at-risk individuals should keep an eye on their medications, too, discussing the dosage with their doctors. The advice didn’t end there, though.
Indeed, the CDC recommended that older people should have their eyes looked at regularly as well, since impaired vision can be another cause of falls. The orgnization also offered an intriguing bit of advice. “Participate in evidence-based programs [such as] Tai Chi that can improve your balance and strengthen your legs,” read the next point.
Next, the CDC made one final point on the matter via the press release. The health agency recommended that the elderly remove any items from their residences that might have the potential to cause falls – and thus serious injury. Meanwhile, White-Minischi was given some excellent news regarding her physical condition after her own tumble in April 2019.
Immediately after the fall, White-Minischi thought that she’d broken a number of her bones, ranging from her arms to her ribs. Thankfully for the Escondido resident, though, she had only suffered a few bruises, which meant that she could return to her home later that same week. However, she didn’t forget about Perea’s kind actions.
“I hurt all over more than any place else. It was an experience that I never want to go through again.” White-Minischi told NBC 7 in April 2019. And who did she thank for rescuing her? “My hero, Marco,” she affectionately added. But the elderly woman’s kind words didn’t end there. After all, she believes that things could’ve taken a much darker turn if Perea hadn’t arrived in the nick of time.
“[Perea is] a sweetheart,” White-Minischi continued. “He saved my life. When you get to be 88 years old, you don’t get [up] very fast [from a fall]. I’m gonna buy more water from him!” And while the octogenarian was clearly delighted with Perea’s good deed, she wasn’t alone on that front.
Indeed, White-Minischi’s granddaughter, Carrie White, also hailed Perea’s heroic actions that day. “We are really grateful,” she told Inside Edition. “It’s rare to find someone that genuine.” And as for the humble delivery man, he tried his best to downplay his heroic conduct in Escondido.
According to Perea, he would always try to assist someone if they were in trouble. “If somebody needs help, and I can do it, why not?” the Palomar Mountain Spring Water employee told NBC 7. “I just feel happy that I was able to help [White-Minischi] and take care of her, because who knows what would have happened to her?”