Newspaper carrier for The Oklahoman helps save fallen woman from hypothermia

Kenia Bettencourt, a newspaper carrier for The Oklahoman, helped save the life of a stranger on her paper route Jan. 8.
BY NASREEN IQBAL niqbal@opubco.com Published: February 9, 2013
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Kenia Bettencourt has seen many things on her 5:30 a.m. paper route through northwest Oklahoma City.

In her five years as an early morning paper carrier for The Oklahoman, she has reported broken water pipes, stray animals and even an attempted burglary.

“We're the extra eyes,” Bettencourt, 39, said of those in her profession. “Lot's of different things can happen at 5:30 in the morning.”

Jan. 8 was the first time she helped save a life.

About 2 a.m., Rose Prentice, 75, heard a noise outside her house. The retired nurse ventured outside to investigate and scared off two men who ran away upon seeing her.

When she turned around to go back into her home, she stumbled on a crack in the street, tripped and fell forward, severely fracturing her arm.

Dressed in a nightgown and sandals, Prentice crawled back to her front porch in the dark early morning hours and in near-freezing temperatures.

Unable to go farther, she sat on her porch and prayed.

“I was so exhausted, and I was having a hard time breathing. I knew I needed to make as much noise as I could for someone to hear me, so I screamed. I prayed that God would send someone to help me,” Prentice said.

Bettencourt heard Prentice's calls for help while delivering papers a few houses down the road.

“She's not a customer of mine, but I happened to hear her and I turned around. I asked her what she needed. I asked her if I could call 911 for her, and she said yes,” Bettencourt said.

Prentice asked Bettencourt for a blanket from inside her home and a rosary from her purse, which Bettencourt retrieved before paramedics arrived.

“I stayed with her until the paramedics came and put her on a stretcher,” Bettencourt said. She then fed Prentice's cat and continued on with her paper route.



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