Kirk Alexander lived on his own in Salem, Oregon, and pizza was his best. The 48-year-old would order a pizza every single day for 10 years from the same trusty Domino’s Pizza Joint. Then, suddenly, he stopped getting pizza from them.
The staff of the restaurant became gravely concerned as they wondered what might have happened to their best customer. The restaurant manager, Sarah Fuller, said to reporters in an interview, “He orders every day, every other day. His orders pop up on the screen because he orders online, so we see it come across the screen, and we’re like, ‘Oh, Kirk’s order.’ But when their best customer just stopped ordering from them, they couldn’t shake the feeling that something might be wrong.”
The restaurant employees thought that he might just be out of town for a few weeks, either seeing family or on business. But as the days went by, the employees decided to ask the manager about Kirk’s order stopping. Fuller began to think the worst; she knew that something wasn’t right and needed to act on her instinct.
So, Fuller did something drastic. Since Kirk had been ordering from Domino’s for such a long time, the staff felt that they knew him quite well. He seemed like a really nice guy, if not a bit quiet. They felt like he was a family. Fuller said, “He ordered all the time, so we knew him.”
Kirk had sometimes stopped ordering briefly to go out of town, but then he never stopped for this long. Maybe he was bored with the food and started getting it from somewhere else. Kirk is always a well-known customer, but he doesn’t have a regular order. He’ll order anything from pasta or pizza to sandwiches or wings. It’s never the same thing every time. The Domino’s menu clearly had enough variety for Kirk; he loved all their food. And this is why the employees began worrying about his safety. Where was Kirk? What could have happened to him?
The Domino’s branch got so concerned that Fuller decided it was time to see if he was okay. They sent a delivery driver, Tracy Hamlin, to check up on their best customer. As Tracy got closer to the door, he started to hear voices from inside the house. The lights inside were on, so he thought it would be fine if he knocked on the door. “We saw the last order as 11 days ago. We knew something wasn’t right; that wasn’t normal at all,” Fuller told reporters in an interview with KOIN 6 News. Reddit, their best customer, go. Fuller knew there was something wrong; she felt it was in the back of her mind.
Tracy was only greeted with silence when he knocked on the door. After a few more attempts, he tried the door, but it was locked. Finally, he called Kirk’s phone, but to no avail; it went straight to voicemail. He knew that something was up, so he raced back to the Domino’s to tell Fuller; he just hoped he could be fast enough.
Kirk’s neighbor said that he didn’t leave his house very often. Tracy, on the other hand, knew that it was because the old man had health problems. That explained why Kirk always had to have his food delivered to him instead of collecting it. Tracy knew that in his mind, there was a lot more to the situation than he could assume to know.
After talking to the other staff, Tracy knew the best course of action was to call 911. “Well, I need some help on what to do; it could be an emergency,” Tracy said. “This is Domino’s Pizza, and we have a customer that usually orders like every night from us, and he hasn’t ordered in 11 days,” Tracy told the operators. They took down the details of the situation and decided to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, the closest police station.
The sheriff immediately sent some deputies to Kirk’s home. They weren’t sure what they would find once they got to the house. Once they arrived, they knocked on the door and called out to Kirk. Despite what they expected, they heard a response but with the sound of the TV. The deputies could tell that the man was calling for help. They immediately broke down the door and entered the house where they found Kirk lying on the floor.
The officers immediately called an ambulance, which picked up Alexander and transported him to a nearby hospital. It looked like he’d suffered a stroke, and paramedics were able to stabilize him, but his fate was still uncertain. As there were no witnesses to the incident, and doctors were unable to determine how long it had been between then and when he was found. Luckily, after some life-saving care, it looked like he was going to make a full recovery.
Domino’s staff was delighted to hear the news. “We’re like a family here, and we were glad we were able to do something to help. We hope he’s able to fully recover from this,” said Fuller.
Now you probably think that these people are heroes, but they disagree. “I think we are just doing our job, checking in on someone we know who orders a lot. We felt like we need to do something,” explained Fuller. The humility is truly inspiring, but that didn’t stop the media from going crazy about the story.
The news spread through the town and local outlets, and eventually, the media caught wind of it. It wasn’t long before the amazing story was making headlines. The incredible foresight of the Oregon Domino’s team was picked up by local TV networks. The story even made it onto The Washington Post website. And, of course, everyone was eager to find out how Alexander was doing after this terrifying ordeal.
Good Morning America interviewed Fuller and her assistant manager, Jenny Saber. The pair recounted the events of that evening, and the host congratulated them for their instincts and doing what was right. She also asked them for updates on Alexander’s condition since they had been able to visit him in the hospital. Fuller told the host that she had been able to see Alexander three times since he was admitted to the hospital. The first day, he was out of it, and he could only answer yes or no questions. On the second day, he looked better, and by the third day, he was well enough to be moved to a rehabilitation wing.
Then Robert gave Fuller a big surprise. “Since you guys are superheroes, we’re gonna send you to Captain America: Civil War,” said Robert, announcing that the whole restaurant staff would be getting tickets, and that’s not all. Domino’s corporate office would be sending Fuller and her team to the Domino’s World Rally, a yearly convention of Domino’s members taking place in Las Vegas. “We think it’s the least that they deserve for helping to save a man’s life,” the police certainly seemed to agree. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office even took to Facebook to publicly thank the delivery driver, Hamlin. “Thanks to the quick actions of Mr. Hamblin, Mr. Alexander is in stable condition at the Salem hospital,” the post read.
It seems that Alexander had a very lucky escape. Eating pizza isn’t recommended by nutritionists, as it certainly isn’t a good idea to order in every night. But Alexander begs to differ, and some strange twist of fate,
Alexander’s Domino’s addiction looks as though it might actually have saved his life. And thanks to the observant team at Domino’s, this story has a happy ending.