Clarence dialed 911, but not for police assistance.
Clarence Blackmon dialed 911 for help — but not for a medical emergency or police assistance. No, he called because he had just returned home from a long stay in the hospital, his fridge was barren, and he needed to eat.
Blackmon was drafted into the army in 1954, and was married that same year. In 1956, he was made corporal and asked to extend his service, but Blackmon declined. According to Huffington Post, Blackmon said, “‘Sergeant, I really appreciate that, but I had to leave my girl behind right after we got married. I can’t stay in. It wouldn’t be right.'”
Blackmon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, and his wife died from cancer in 2011. In 2014, Blackmon lost the home he had shared with his wife for 35 years because he could no longer pay the bills. Now Blackmon’s doctor says he doesn’t have much time left.
On May 12th, Blackmon was desperate. He had called the grocery store but they wouldn’t deliver without a deposit, and Blackmon couldn’t make it there. That’s when he decided to call 911 for help.
The 911 operator Marilyn Hinson was sympathetic. She had gone hungry before, too, and immediately wanted to help him. After entering his name into the system, she found out about his illness, and that he had no family in the area. Blackmon told Hinson he had a short grocery list and that he had the money to pay for it.
“What I need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me some food, because I need to eat something,” Blackmon said in his 911 call. “Whatever you can do to help. I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my damn chair.”
Typically, 911 operators do not offer direct assistance to callers, but this case was different, according to Hinson’s supervisor. So Hinson showed up with the groceries (as well as a police escort), and made Blackmon two ham sandwiches.
Blackmon was incredibly grateful to everyone involved. Authorities are now working with a local church on behalf of Blackmon to ensure his needs are met in the future.SKM: below-content placeholder