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Item news carrier comes to the aid of ill subscriber

Adam Gilberg, 21, came to the aid of Item subscriber Mary Hubbard during his morning paper route after he heard her house alarm go off. (Owen O'Rourke)

File this one under “Item news carrier tends to sick woman.” Because that’s exactly what happened.

Sometime in late November, Adam Gilberg, 21, who lives on Stocker Avenue, was delivering papers on his route — which included Crooker Drive — when he heard a house alarm going off. As he got closer, he realized the alarm was coming from the home of a customer, Mary Hubbard.

“I knocked on the door, which was slightly ajar, and I heard her say ‘come on in,'” said Gilberg, a Lynn English graduate who also works at CVS on Eastern Avenue. “She’d fallen down. She was fine, really. She just couldn’t get up.”

“The doctors think she might have had a TIA (transient ischemic attack),” said Duane Hubbard, the woman’s son. Victims of a TIA exhibit all the symptoms of a stroke, except they last only a few minutes, and don’t usually cause permanent damage.

“She fell onto her walker, and it tripped the alarm,” he said. “He asked if she was OK, and she asked him if he’d call 911.”

Gilberg admits to hesitating momentarily before he told the woman he would stay with her.

“I didn’t do it was soon as I should have,” Gilberg said. “It took a minute before I called 911 and went in to check on her.”

Once he did that, and however long it took for him to do it, he impressed Hubbard by his attention toward his mother.

“He said to her, ‘I’m here with you. I’m not leaving you,'” said Hubbard. “He stayed until the ambulance came, and filled them in on what had happened.”

What happened after that astounded Hubbard even more.

“We sent him an envelope with cash in it, just to say ‘thank you,’ but a couple of days later, we got it back, along with a nice note. He said, ‘I can’t accept this. This is something I’d do for anyone.’

“Can you imagine that?” asked Hubbard. “You don’t see that today. He could have just gone on his merry way. It kind of makes you feel better all-around.”

Unfortunately, Mary Hubbard’s condition deteriorated after that, and she died Dec. 17. But Duane Hubbard wants everyone to know — especially Adam Gilberg — that his mother remained impressed with what the young man did the day she fell down.

“We still want to do something for him,” she said.

Mary Hubbard was the wife of Dean Hubbard, who was a Lynn locksmith. She also taught first grade at the Lynn Woods School, was an avid reader  and was a past president of the North Shore Reading Association. She was an accomplished quilter as well.

Gilberg has been delivering The Item for 10 years, starting at the age of 11 after inheriting it from a friend.

“As a kid, I always wanted a paper route,” Gilberg said. “I started driving the route around a year or so ago, after I got my license. Still, mostly I walk.”

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