Nine-year-old paperboy Ethan Hall was out on his regular route when a pack of piled-up letters on a woman's front porch caught his eye.
"I noticed that her mail's there. And she's handicapped, so she can't come out of the house," said Sycamore, Ill., resident.
Ethan suspected something was wrong and told his mother, who then called police. The boy's instincts were correct. Three days earlier, the resident of the house had fallen and broken her hip, and she lay stuck and helpless on the floor.
"Other than some clues on the outside of the building, there's nothing that would tell you that somebody was in trouble," said Sycamore police Officer Mike Domenighini.
Because of Ethan's keen eye and quick thinking, police found the woman and got her life-saving help.
"They said that if I hadn't found her, or did anything, in a few more hours she would be dead," Ethan said.
Now the woman is recovering and Ethan has vowed to mow her lawn and collect her mail while she heals.
Both the woman and her family are grateful to the elementary school student.
"He's a hero," said Bob Carlson, the injured woman's nephew.
And Ethan too feels the joy of helping out a neighbor.
"It's like you're a parent or a big superhero. It feels just like that," he said.
Ethan's mother is proud too.
"For him to just think that way, it makes me very proud," Michelle Hall said.