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Elderly cancer patient calls 911 in need of food; operator delivers

Clarence Blackmon, an 81-year-old cancer patient, called 911

Clarence Blackmon, an 81-year-old cancer patient, called 911 for food after he returned home from the hospital to find an empty refrigerator. Photo Credit: WTVD-TV / ABC 11 Eyewitness News

When 911 operator Marilyn Hinson received an emergency call from a Fayetteville, North Carolina, resident, the man on the other end wasn't in immediate danger, but he was still in need of help. Clarence Blackmon, an Army veteran and cancer patient, was hungry, unable to move and in dire need of groceries.

"What I need is someone to get me to the grocery store and bring me some food because I need to eat something," he told Hinson during the 911 call, according to ABC11 WTVD-TV, which first reported the story. "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."

The 81-year-old had just spent months in the hospital undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, WTVD-TV reported. When he returned home to an empty refrigerator, he didn't know what else to do.

So, he dialed 911 and asked the operator to bring him cabbage, canned vegetables, popcorn, tomato juice and soda.

His list was short, but her gesture was grand. With the help of Fayetteville police, Hinson hand-delivered the groceries to Blackmon and even made him a ham sandwich.

"He was hungry," Hinson told WTVD-TV. "I've been hungry. A lot of people can't say that, but I can, and I can't stand for anyone to be hungry."

Blackmon will soon be getting a home nurse that will check in on him twice a week, according to WTVD-TV. Until then, the Fayetteville Police Department is taking donations to help keep Blackmon comfortable and full.

"It was like a little miracle ringing in my ear," Blackmon said. "I thought, 'Jesus, you answered those prayers!'"


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