WDN carrier aids stroke victim

Published 1:15 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Arthur Fennell’s life as a newspaper carrier is pretty ordinary.

When you have to deliver to 240 houses in 333 minutes, there is no time for reflection, or much of anything else.

A few weeks ago, something interrupted his early morning routine. It wasn’t a usual interruption.

Fennell described what he observed when he arrived at one Washington Daily News subscriber’s house.

“As I approached her paper box, I noticed that her son was sitting in the middle of the dirt road. I still really did not think anything. I tried to drive around him,” Fennell said.  “As I was going around him, I caught his mother’s shirt and shorts out of the corner of my eye. I noticed she was lying there. I drove around to my next customer’s house and told him what was going on. We proceeded to call 911. He sent me to another man’s house, and we came back.”

A White Oak ambulance transported the woman to Pungo District Hospital.

After Fennell finished his paper route, he went to the hospital and met with the woman’s family, learning she suffered a stroke.

Fennell is one of 22 carriers who deliver the Washington Daily News to subscribers in four counties — Beaufort, Hyde, Washington and Martin. His route covers the Pamlico Beach area and Terra Ceia community. He starts his route at the Washington Daily News’ office around 2:30 a.m. daily, except Mondays.

“Arthur is very easy to work with and has even taken on additional customers from a route that had no carrier,” said WDN circulation manager Lou Firth. “He is a hard worker and obviously very caring.”

The truck delivering the newspapers to the newspaper’s office the day the subscriber suffered her stroke was on time. Fennell encountered the woman between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

“That is my first encounter with something like that. Normally, it is just hitting deer and dodging customers’ dogs,” Fennell said.

Fennell lives in Pantego with his aunt and a cousin.

The woman Fennell helped is recovering in the hospital.