Local UPS driver saves Pleasanton shopkeeper

'He kept saying, 'Do you want me to call somebody?''

A Pleasanton woman got an early Valentine gift: her life, thanks to the persistence of a UPS driver from San Ramon.

It was a coincidence that driver Eddie Tinga was even on the route that covered Milfleur, Terri Carlson's shop in the old Kottinger Barn on Ray Street on Feb. 4.

"He's our stand-in UPS man, our regular UPS man is out on medical with a broken leg," Carlson said.

When Tinga came in to make a delivery, Carlson said she was having a hard time thinking.

"I was writing a COD check and I just couldn't organize my thoughts," she said. "Eddie kept asking me if I was OK, and I said, 'Sure I was OK,' but I couldn't see what I wrote. He was trying to help me and he kept saying, 'Do you want me to call somebody?'"

It turned out Carlson was having a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke.

She said the TIA came "out of the blue," although she recalled having some scattered thoughts some time earlier.

UPS drivers typically have a tight schedule, but Tinga stayed and pressed until Carlson called her husband, who dropped what he was doing to rush his wife to the hospital. That, Carlson said, was the second miracle of the day.

"All the lights turned green to get me there," she said.

At the hospital, five people worked on her and explained how serious the condition was. That made Carlson even more appreciative of Tinga's persistence.

"Eddie was very caring. I'm definitely impressed with what he did for me," she said, noting that the mini-stroke landed her in the hospital for five days.

Tinga said he didn't want recognition for helping Carlson.

"I don't really want praise for doing what we all should do," he said. "The family thanked me, that's good enough for me."


Like this comment
Posted by Grandma
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 19, 2014 at 7:17 am

Mr. Tinga deserves an award or some other formal recognition. Often,people who are on delivery routes, like UPS and USPS are the ones who become aware of and act to help people in distress. Delivery personnel are on pretty tight schedules. That this man was aware of a problem and didn't ignore Mrs. Carlson's symptoms is extra special.

Like this comment
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Feb 19, 2014 at 7:39 am

This is a wonderful story, and a great reminder to pay attention to sudden changes in cognitive functioning. I love both Carlson's and Tinga's responses to the situation!

Like this comment
Posted by Claudette of Pleasanton
a resident of another community
on Feb 19, 2014 at 10:40 am

Thank you Eddie for the Love and Compassion that Drives your Life. This is a great example of what we all should do. We should be persistent when we can see that another person Needs our Help. Don't walk away wondering, stay until you are sure, because you can save a life by being Compassionate.

So happy that you are alright Terri!! You're fortunate when You get in this life what you give, and You give so much.

Love and Peace to all ~ See you at Milfleur on Ray Street.

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