Friends at heart

Postal worker helps save a favorite customer
Dec. 30, 2012 @ 12:01 AM

 Postal worker William Todd Knight and customer Garrett “Buddy” Carr can’t for the life of them agree on whether the Dallas Cowboys or the Washington Redskins is the better team.
They do agree, however, that if Carr had to have a heart attack, it’s a good thing he was at the Emerywood Post Office on Rockspring Road, where his friend could help.
Knight, 44, a finance window clerk who has worked for eight years at Emerywood and a High Point postal worker for 15 years, and Carr, 65, a semi-retired house painter, have known each other for several years. Carr collects mail from his neighbors and takes it to the Emerywood station two or three times a week.
Truth be known, Carr probably finds reasons to go the post office so he can goad Knight. Carr never goes anywhere without Redskins clothing. He even wears a Redskins hat and tie to his church, Memorial United Methodist Church.
As a postal worker, however, Knight can’t wear Cowboys’ clothes at work. And that must rankle him.
“I get along with most of my customers most of the time, but when you come in with a Redskins shirt and hat, well ... ,” Knight said.
On the morning of Dec. 4, a Tuesday, Knight spotted Carr entering the post office, all decked out in burgundy and gold. Knight was helping a customer but was mentally planning the sparring match he and Carr would have about the Monday night game.
“Then when I looked over, my boy was falling down; this woman caught him. His eyes closed, and he took a big gasp. When I got to him he didn’t breathe, and I couldn’t get a pulse. It liked’ta scared me to death,” Knight said.
Knight learned cardio-pulmonary resuscitation in the Air Force but had never applied it in a real-life emergency. He began chest compressions as another postal employee called 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 operator transferred him to an emergency responder, who talked him through the compressions until help arrived.
“Somebody talking to you on the phone helps,” Knight said. “She kept telling me to go faster. Boy, she was on me like a school teacher.”   
Knight now is adamant that he did little except hold the fort until Emergency Medical Services and High Point Fire Department personnel got there, and he gives them all the credit.
On the surface, he afterward reverted to his usual self-effacing humor. “I just wanted to save him as a customer. ... I told his brother, ‘Don’t y’all tell any of your Redskins that a Cowboy saved him’,” Knight said.
But Knight, if pressed, admits he was plenty scared and worried about his friend at the time.
“I was so worried he wouldn’t be OK or that I didn’t react fast enough. I kept going over and over in my head if I could have done anything different – except maybe jump over the counter,” Knight said.
Carr, who doesn’t remember anything about Dec. 4 or his subsequent 10-day hospital stay, has no doubt where credit goes.
“I know God was in control, but God gave him (Knight) the strength to do what he did,” Carr said. “God wasn’t showing me. He was showing people around me he was in control.”
On Christmas Eve, Carr asked his brother to take him to the post office, where he gave Knight a Cowboys lunchbox and candle.
“Man, he got me all misty-eyed,” Knight said.
When Knight visited Carr last week, Carr seemed to be recovering well and was dressed in a Redskins shirt and slippers. The two kept hugging each other and bumping fists.
“I’ll keep going to the post office as long as they keep making mail,” Carr said. “I don’t owe him nothing but the same love he showed me.”

vknopfler@hpe.com / 888-3601