Paperboy saves customer - then carries on his rounds

Newspaper boy, Gabriel Broom, who saved a man's life. Ref shs 7956-07-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Newspaper boy, Gabriel Broom, who saved a man's life. Ref shs 7956-07-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A paperboy has been hailed a hero after helping to save the life of an elderly customer while on his early morning rounds.

Gabriel Broom, 14, rushed to the aid of a stricken pensioner who had fallen outside his home in frosty conditions and had been lying in the cold for half-an-hour.

The selfless Sidmouth College student told the casualty: “It’s your paperboy – I’m here to help.”

Gabriel, of Manstone Avenue, begins his deliveries at 6.30am most days and his is the first smiling face many of his customers see.

But his role changed when he came across the Malden Road resident in his late 70s, known as Eddie, who had fallen and could not get up.

“I put him in the recovery position and took off my coat and jumper to put over him, then rang 999 straight away,” said Gabriel.

Eddie had been in freezing conditions for around 30 minutes before the paperboy arrived and found him.

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Gabriel stayed with the casualty until paramedics got to the scene, when he was told he could carry on with his paper round. He continued his day and went to school, albeit a little shaken-up.

“I never would’ve known what to do if I hadn’t learned first aid – I probably would have panicked,” said Gabriel.

“I saw his daughter-in-law the other day and she said he is in hospital, safe and recovering.”

Gabriel, an aspiring jumbo jet pilot, learned his life-saving skills as an air cadet.

He is saving up to visit his brother in New Zealand, where he hopes to attend flight school.

The Sidmothian said he loves that his job gets him out in the community and meeting people.

His mum, Jackie Hodge, said: “Eddie was [hidden from view] behind his hedge – it just shows you how important roles like Gabriel’s are in these situations.

“Words can’t describe how proud of him I am.”

Gabriel was awarded a certificate for his outstanding contribution to the community in a school assembly last week, and said it felt ‘amazing’ for his efforts to be recognised.

His tutor, Julie Fossey, said: “I’m not surprised at all that Gabe behaved in such a responsible and honourable way.

“He is an absolute credit, not just to the school but to our whole community.”

Benedict Mansi, Gabriel’s employer at Woolbrook News, added: “He’s one of the best paperboys we’ve got.”

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