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."