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Hero paperboy raises alert to save elderly woman’s life after fall

PUBLISHED: 05:30 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:14 09 June 2020

Becky Knight with 'hero' paperboy Max Kemp. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Becky Knight with 'hero' paperboy Max Kemp. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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An elderly woman was rescued after collapsing in her own home and laying stricken for two days - thanks to an alert paperboy raising the alarm.

Paperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPaperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Max Kemp, 15, has worked for The Kiosk newsagents at Borehamgate Precinct in Sudbury for three years and was doing his usual round in the town last Thursday when he spotted something unusual and alerted his employers at the newsagents.

Becky Knights who, alongside husband Terry, took over the news stand kiosk on King Street in September, went to her customer’s bungalow to check for herself but after getting no response, notified the neighbours who contacted the elderly woman’s relatives.

Mrs Ross, who is believed to be in her 80s or 90s, is recovering in West Suffolk Hospital. Her son, who does not wish to be named, updated Mr and Mrs Knights on her progress at the weekend and said: “She is recuperating in hospital and is being well looked after.”

Max, who lives in Sudbury with his Mum and older brother and attends Ormiston Sudbury Academy secondary school, said: “I was just doing my paper round as normal and I went to the woman’s house and saw that she had two papers that hadn’t been taken in. I had noticed one the day before but thought she had just forgotten to pick it up as sometimes customers do that. So when I came back the next day, I thought that’s a bit strange so I called Becky to tell her that I found it odd and she said she’d pop round.

Paperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPaperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“So, I carried on with the rest of my round and I got a text later on saying that the woman had fallen over.

“I was shocked when I heard about it. It’s made me really happy that she’s okay but I just keep thinking, imagine being on that floor for two days? That must have been horrible.

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“If I was in that situation, I’d really want someone to help me. My whole family are proud.”

Paperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPaperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Mrs Knights said: “The neighbour initially thought the lady may have gone to stay with her son for a few days which wouldn’t be unusual. It just seemed a bit odd as people usually stop their papers if this is the case.

“So the neighbour contacted the lady’s son. We were called later that day to say that the lady’s daughter-in-law had been round and unfortunately she’d had a fall and had been taken to West Suffolk Hospital. She had fallen over on the Tuesday and been laying there for two days. I thought, oh my God, she could probably hear me banging on the door and was thinking, yes someone’s come to help me! But couldn’t call out as she was too weak.”

The family would like to keep details of the elderly lady’s injuries private but have personally thanked the staff at The Kiosk with gifts and thank you cards for their crucial efforts in raising the alarm.

Paperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPaperboy Max Kemp helped to save a woman's life when he saw that her newspaper had not moved from her letterbox. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mrs Knights said: “It was good of Max to identify the situation for what it was - it’s quite a mature thing to do. If Max had not been quite so observant then who knows? 48 hours is a long time and I think Max is doing himself a disservice.

“He’s playing it down but I think he’s a lifesaver. It made all the difference getting that call in. The family are really grateful.

“Some people can get blinkered into the situation we’re in and not think about the environment in front of them. It was crucial, the keyworker that Max is, that he’s out and about in the community and it’s these little differences that have helped that lady.”

Max’s Mum, Miss Bain, is delighted with her son and said: “We’re glad he used his initiative to make that call. We’re really pleased with him. It’s nice that people look out for elderly people. And it’s good that the kiosk followed it up. We’re really proud of him.”


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