COEUR D'ALENE -

A Coeur d'Alene letter carrier is being thanked for his efforts to save the life of an elderly man on his route who suffered a massive stroke.

For the last 20 years Ron Farnsworth has been sorting, delivering and making the rounds as a mail carrier.

?Generally when I deliver the mail I get to meet someone, hand them the mail, say hi to them and that's what I like to do,? Ron said.

And that?s just what Ron was doing on October 30th when he showed up at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Ironwood, the only residential stop on his route to drop off boxes of books to a regular client.

?You get to where you know your customers after awhile and you know if there's anything off kilter,? Ron said.

Something was off kilter on October 30th. Tom Croswell usually came to the door to meet Ron but not on that particular day.

?Every time I'd ring the doorbell and knock on the door, I could hear him inside but it didn't sound like he was making any sense," Ron said. "It sounded kind of garbled the way he was talking."

?So I tried the doorknob and it was unlocked and stuck my head in there and I could see him laying on the floor in his kitchen and he was obviously in distress and didn't seem to know what was going on."

Tom had suffered a massive stroke. It?s not known how long he?d been alone in his apartment since his stroke.

"Well I'm glad somebody called 911 on him," Tom?s neighbor Marie Helbig said. ?I thought that was really nice of the mailman, Ron is a really nice guy and helped him out."

As for Ron it was all in a day?s work for him. He?s just happy to know the 80-year-old who loves books is doing OK.

?I didn't want to make a big deal out of it but the fact that someone appreciated what I did made me feel really good,? Ron said.

Ron was so low key about what he did he kept the incident a secret for several weeks. In fact the story of his good deed to help save Tom?s life would?ve been kept quiet if a thank you card from Tom?s family hadn?t showed up at work, letting his fellow workers know their appreciation for what he had done.