Mail carrier saves woman’s life

Judi Gosselin, left, and Nicole Hunt pose outside of Gosselin’s home. (Photo submitted)

Judi Gosselin, left, and Nicole Hunt pose outside of Gosselin’s home. (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — Whether you believe things happen for a reason or not, city resident Judi Gosselin’s encounter with her postal carrier has at least generated some curious smiles.

The 73-year-old Gosselin left her Elmwood Avenue home at about 2:15 p.m. Sept. 18 and strolled out into the daylight of her driveway. Today, she doesn’t remember the reason, but she then collapsed.

Luckily, Johnstown U.S. Post Office worker Nicole Hunt of Dolgeville was there making her rounds and took immediate action after seeing her mail customer laying face down in her driveway.

“Oh, my gosh, she saved my life!” an emotional Gosselin recounted Friday from home. “She’s a sweetheart.”

The retiree who lives by herself, and her extended family, now have another word these days to describe postal worker Hunt: “hero.”

Judi Gosselin, left, talks about her experience after she lost consciousness and mail carrier Nicole Hunt, right, found her face down in her driveway. (Photo submitted)

Judi Gosselin, left, talks about her experience after she lost consciousness and mail carrier Nicole Hunt, right, found her face down in her driveway. (Photo submitted)

“Nicole’s definitely our hero,” the victim’s daughter, Evamarie Mraz of Johnstown, said Friday.

“You better believe it,” Gosselin says.

Mraz said her mother was definitely “unresponsive” when a medical issue took her down. Mraz said Hunt took control of the situation, calling 911, staying with her and doing the “proper procedures” until Gosselin could be seen by Johnstown Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps EMS staff.

“Honestly, had Nicole not been there … my mother’s blood pressure had dropped,” Mraz said. “We thought she had a stroke.”

Mraz truly believes the mail deliverer’s “quick action” saved her mother’s life in a situation that could have been much worse. Mraz’s husband, Aaron, was contacted by the Johnstown Post Office to inform him of what had happened to his mother-in-law.

Gosselin was rushed by JAVAC to Nathan Littauer Hospital and eventually transferred to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. Today, her medical condition remains unresolved.

“We’re still determining that,” Mraz said.

Gosselin was told she was extremely dehydrated at the time of her collapse.

Asked whether she feels like a hero or not, Hunt replied Friday, “I’m glad I could save Judi’s life.”

Gosselin made it to her 73rd birthday on Sept. 25, so it apparently wasn’t her time yet. Her family took her to dinner at Sam’s Seafood Friday night to celebrate. Mraz said her mother is only “frustrated” now by not being able to drive yet.

As for the retiree, she said it’s not like she and Hunt aren’t friends already for the past year. Gosselin said she often converses with her postal carrier, chatting about things such as a mutual ownership of black labs.

“I talk to her all the time,” Gosselin said.

Gosselin said the odd thing about her fateful encounter with Hunt is that her mail lady usually delivers after 3 p.m., but this day it was much earlier.

Johnstown Post Office Postmaster Lori Driscoll confirmed that there was a “malfunction” at the postal office and Johnstown carriers were “sent out early” on Sept. 18 to get some of their deliveries done.

Gosselin doesn’t remember going somewhere with her son-in-law beforehand and going home, but not too much afterwards.

“I lost 24 hours,” she remembered. “I said, ‘I’m tired.’ I don’t remember getting out of the house and going outside. I guess I collapsed. I heard her voice. They said I was incoherent.”

She remembers hearing the voices of Hunt, and neighbors Andrea Patterson and Elysia Cronin.

“That’s all I remember,” Gosselin said.

She has since seen her hero, talking with Hunt Thursday and Friday and giving her a “basket” as a token.

Driscoll said Friday that Hunt is “an easy carrier to brag about.”

“I’m very proud of her,’ her boss said.

Driscoll said she just this week submitted paperwork to federal postal authorities in Washington D.C., nominating Hunt for a “Hero Award” given by the U.S. Postal Service.

The postmaster said Hunt has been a postal worker for a few years, but a full-time carrier for about a year.

Driscoll said it actually “very common” for postal employees to encounter emergency situations while delivering the mail. She said recent area events have occurred in Gloversville and Speculator. She said most carriers would “absolutely” help someone, although they technically can’t be required to do so.

“We only employ great people,” Driscoll said. “Really, there aren’t people who wouldn’t do it for a customer.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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