Betty Thistle thinks quite highly of her Telegram carrier, 13-year-old Braedon Grace, and not just because he delivers the paper early each morning.
The Mount Pearl resident was retrieving her weekend paper from the mailbox last month when she took an unexpected tumble onto the ground.
“I went out in me pyjamas and housecoat — there’s nobody around,” recalled Thistle, who says she has been reading The Telegram for close to 70 years.
She closed one door behind her to keep the dog inside and opened another to retrieve the paper at approximately 8:15 a.m. Betty lives in Mount Pearl with her son, David, and daughter-in-law, Sue, both of whom were inside the house at the time of the incident.
“You know Saturday’s paper is always bigger and thicker, and I was trying to dig it out, and I somehow lost my balance or misstepped or did something, and I went (down) on the flat of my back.”
Braedon was finishing off his first week as a carrier when he heard his customer scream.
“I was just after putting the other person’s paper in the mailbox, and heard a scream and a thump from her head,” he said, speaking with The Telegram while seated in the Thistles’ living room. “I looked across and I ran across and helped her.”
“I didn’t pass out,” said Betty. “I was lying there, and out of the corner of my eye I saw this young fella, galloping across the street.”
She recalls being grateful once she realized Braedon had come to help her.
“I caught him out of the corner of my eye, and I said, ‘Sir Galahad, you’ve come to save me,’” she said with a laugh.
Braedon attempted to help Betty get back on her feet, but it was not a task he could do by himself. She then told him to ring the doorbell to alert the rest of her family, which he did.
David and Sue Thistle subsequently came outside to assist her in getting up.
“As you were going,” said Betty, looking at Braedon, “you didn’t hear when I said, ‘Thank you.’”
Sue said her mother-in-law was fortunate to have fallen where she did. Had it occurred a foot away, Betty’s head likely would have struck concrete.
In the end, the fall left a bruise on the back of her head and her lower back.
Betty is still experiencing some discomfort in her lower back as a result of the fall, though she has not felt the need to visit a hospital.
Thinking about the incident after the fact, she is very impressed by Braedon’s decisive actions. She is equally appreciative of his effort to get up every morning at 6 a.m. to take care of his paper route before school starts.
“He’s one in a million, this child here.”