METUCHEN, N.J. (1010 WINS) — A New Jersey post office held a ceremony Tuesday to honor a mail carrier for his efforts in helping save the life of an elderly grandmother on his route.

When the mail started piling up at Cleo Looby’s house, mail carrier Joseph Padilla knew something was wrong.

“She don’t go anywhere every day. Her routine is getting the mail every day,” Padilla told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

1010 WINS Reporter Steve Sandberg talks with the postman and how he knew the elderly woman needed help.

“I saw the mail piling up at her house. Just one day and it was enough for me to say ‘what’s going on here,'” Padilla said, “but I couldn’t do anything because it was one day. When I came back the next day — [there] had to be something wrong.”

The alert Padilla knocked on the door of Looby’s neighbor and the two found the 92-year-old curled up in the fetal position in her backyard. She was barely conscious and soaking wet from a night out in the rain.

“She was alive…she was in a little ditch,” Padilla said.

It’s still unclear how long Looby was outside. Padilla is now being recognized as a hero for saving the senior’s life.

Grateful relatives said if not for Padilla, the Metuchen woman, who lived alone, would have never survived.

“I’m just glad I did what I did — the recognition, that’s not what I do it for,” Padilla said, “I look at my route and my customers as my second family.”

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