Howell woman with health issues fights to get mail delivered to her door

Posted at 11:18 PM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 23:18:01-04

Money, important bills, medical documents – you never know what could be in the mail!

In one Howell neighborhood, getting to the mailbox is like competing in an off-roads obstacle course and one woman battling health issues is struggling to make it there and back.

Walking to the end of the driveway is as far as most of us have to go to get our mail, but the mailboxes for people who live on Maplecrest Drive are through the woods on the other side of a fence, near a water filled pothole so big it's referred to by residents as a pond.

Getting the mail is one of the little things so many of us take for granted, but for Lynne Gatz, it's beyond a difficult task.

"It’s like I’m out of breath after ten steps," Gatz said.

She battles rhuematoid arthritis, Lupus and Sjogren's Syndrome.

"It’s the basics," she said. "Cleaning the house or doing the laundry, those types of things are very hard for me to do now."

Getting the mail is near impossible. It's like navigating an off-roads obstacle course.

"You have to walk through potholes and mud to get through," says one neighbor.

Then go over or around a fence and through the woods. Residents say they also have to climb through weeds and over boulders. Even for a healthy person like Lynn's neighbor, it's just nor safe.

"I could lose my balance easily and fall and that wouldn't be good," Gatz said.

She went to the post office for help back in March and hadn't heard back. Action News reporter Jennifer Ann Wilson spoke with the postmaster who says he has Lynne Gatz's application and other supporting documents, but he’s missing one thing – a doctor's note.

It can say something simple like: "Due to Lynne Gatz’s health issues she can not walk to get the mail, please deliver to the door.," the postmaster said.

It can be typed or handwritten on stationary or a prescription pad.

If the postmaster approves her hardship, Gatz’s mail will be delivered to the door and her long journey to the mail box will be over.

"That would be a blessing," Gatz said.

If you have a medical issue that makes retrieving the mail difficult you can apply for a hardship delivery to receive mail at your door. For more information, click here .

As for the rest of the neighbors for whom mail is an inconvenience, the postmaster says for all the mailboxes to be moved to the other side of the woods into the neighborhood, all the homeowners and landlords would have to agree to pay for it.

So far, that hasn't happened.