Paper carrier delivers more than the news

Quick-thinking carrier gets help for one customer then helps injured dog get home

A Trail Times’ carrier delivered more than headlines when he stumbled across an ailing customer in his West Trail home.

Cam Cunningham was completing his regular four-route delivery last Wednesday with his mom Geraldine at his side when something didn’t seem right at one of the stops.

“I just noticed that the papers were stacking up so I decided to knock because it seemed suspicious,” said Cunningham.

Without a response at the door, he peered through a window and could see his customer Joe Sinal sitting still in a recliner chair.

“I said, ‘If you need help, just lift your finger’ and he did and that’s when I called 911 right away.”

Knowing that the senior’s brother John lived nearby, the two carriers ran over to spread the word.

“What do you say? They didn’t have to do what they did and it was remarkable that the carriers did come and tell us,” said John’s wife Louann Sinal.

Though the 90-year-old didn’t survive his stroke and passed away the following day at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, his family is grateful they could spend some final hours by his side.

“It’s a good thing that we do have paper carriers for this type of situation,” said Louann, adding that she plans to reward the carriers for their kind efforts.

Cunningham followed this good deed up with another when the duo came across a customer’s dog limping far from home. The two took the senior pooch home and felt relieved that their day’s work was complete.

“Because we have a personal relationship with every single one of our customers, I always watch out for their routines to see if it’s broken,” said Cunningham.

The 30-year-old has had a paper route with the Times for over 10 years and has gotten to know West Trail folk in that time.

He’s happy that his story sheds a new light on carriers, who don’t always carry the best reputation.

“Whenever something would go missing in a mailbox, people would always be suspicious of the paperboy,” he said. “Little do they know, the paperboy is watching out for them.”

Geraldine is proud of her son’s actions and hopes that his story “gives an incentive to all paper carriers to watch out and be caring to their customers.”

The story reminds her of an 82-year-old Memphis, Tenn., woman who called Domino’s like clockwork for a pepperoni pizza and two Diet Cokes.

When she didn’t make her regular delivery one morning, her pizza driver stopped by and with no response at the door called 911. The paramedics arrived to find the woman lying on her floor and unable to reach the telephone for help.

Though all Times’ customers pre-pay for their papers nowadays, Cunningham and his mom still take the time to interact with their customers and keep a watchful eye en route.