PNM reader credited with saving customer’s life

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A PNM meter reader who was in the right place at the right time saved a customer’s life in the Silver City area. Luis Apodaca provided aid to a woman who was in distress and in need of medical attention.

Apodaca has been working at PNM for about four years, but nothing could have prepared him for what he found at one of his usual stops in Silver City last month. “I saw her facedown in a pool of blood,” Apodaca said.

Apodaca came across an older woman who was severely injured from a fall and in need of immediate help. “She broke her nose, cracked two ribs…” Apodaca explained.

He said what gave him the red flag that something was wrong was the woman’s two Great Danes. According to PNM, Apodaca had repeatedly come across two large protective dogs at the customer’s property with the gate locked, blocking access to the meter.

PNM meter reader Luis Apodaca (courtesy PNM)

After speaking with the homeowner, she stated she would put the dogs away and unlock the gate on the day her meter was scheduled to be read each month. Apodaca went to read the meter, but he recognized something was off.

Normally there are two dogs at the home. On this day, he saw only one and it appeared to be distressed. He said the dogs are usually aggressive but acted differently this time. “That dog was really trying to get my attention,” Apodaca said. “When I scooted it back, that dog went to the corner of the property and laid down almost like he knew I was there to help her.”

PNM says Apodaca then found the woman on the ground seriously injured after a fall. “Help,” Apodaca said. “That was my first reaction was to help. Run back to your truck, grab your stuff and help.

Apodaca called 911 and performed first aid until an ambulance could arrive. “I held her hand and told her that she mattered and she was going to be okay,” Apodaca said. “I care about my community, the people in it, and we help each other.”

At the next meter reading earlier this month, Apodaca said the woman was waiting for him and asked if he was the man who helped her. The woman told PNM she’s thankful Apodaca was there. “She continued to tell me that she had to get flown out that day because they found a brain bleed and flew her to El Paso because she had a lot more injuries to her face,” Apodaca said.

PNM says the woman suffered a brain bleed, fractured two ribs, broke her lower jaw, fractured her eye socket, and broke her nose. “It gave me chills knowing how serious it was and thinking to myself that if I wouldn’t have stopped, what could have happened,” Apodaca said.

Apodaca said he’s never encountered anything like that on the job, but he said his will to help others is what kept him calm and collected to render aid until paramedics arrived.

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